24th April 2022

An ex-police detective Shane Reid who took a photo of former AFL coach Dani Laidley in custody has been cleared of all charges leaving a fair amount of egg on the face of the Victoria Police, which must be severely embarrassing.

If not, then it should be.

Severely embarrassed because VicPol with all the resources applied to this matter VicPol could not work out that there was no criminality on the ex-Detectives part.

Poor management prioritisation grinds with all Victorians who have waited for Police never to arrive to deal with their problems and the failure to prosecute blatant criminality in the Red Shirts and Slug-Gate matters.

A matter of woke trumping responsibility.

The issue of whether Dani Laidley is a cross-dresser is of no concern to us. Examples of cross-dressing date back thousands of years in various cultures, it is not something of particular import.

But what does greatly concern us are the priorities to which VicPol applies its resources. In this case to a non-offence.

After a long investigation and a two-day Court hearing, the magistrate found that,

“The prosecution had failed to establish the ex-detective’s actions were criminal behaviour rather than workplace misconduct.”

Dismissing the charges, the Magistrate ordered that the Chief Commissioner (us) pay ex-detective Reid’s costs.

We agree that the photographing of Laidley was inappropriate, unprofessional and aggravated by passing it on, albeit to a closed social media site and deserved disciplinary sanctions but whether that included suspensions or dismissal, we doubt it.

What has been overlooked by all the hullabaloo about the Police action is that Laidley was in the Police Station to be charged with “Stalking” offences. Stalking can be a horrendous experience for the victim and given the nature of the stalking, as reported, it would be on the higher end of the scale. Ultimately pleading guilty there is no doubt Laidley’s behaviour was abhorrent.

Seven police employees were suspended and another six were transferred to other duties over the incident.

“Assistant Commissioner Shane Patton described it at the time as appalling and unlawful criminal conduct.” https://www.afl.com.au/news/524813/former-north-coach-dani-laidley-avoids-conviction-for-stalking#

It is unclear if he is referring to Police or Laidley, we hope the latter.

Now that the behaviour is identified by the court was not criminal, the thirteen officers should now be returned to active duty albeit that some disciplinary issues may need resolution but given the dire need for police on our streets and with the Court finding ratcheting down the outrage any residual disciplinary matters should suffer the same treatment.

We cannot afford to lose any of them, they cost too much, and it is our money after all.

This exercise by VicPol was clearly motivated by wanting to appear woke and no matter how much they wished that the matter was a criminal offence it was not, and wishing it so makes it more of an embarrassment.  Interesting to know what diminutive part of the community they were trying to impress, it certainly was not mainstream.

VicPol needs to focus on their function not trying to be woke social progressives at our expense, in dollar terms and service.

Remember it is our money, not yours to spend on social whims.

All in all, much to do about not very much except the cost to us.

Time to get back to the real job at hand.