Police sergeant sacked over racist Sunshine stubby holders

UPDATE: Three police officers have been sacked over a racism row in which stubby holders mocking African migrants were circulated around a suburban station.

An investigation was launched into the production of inappropriate stubby holders, an inappropriate photo and misuse of the email system at the Sunshine police station.

The three dismissed employees were a sergeant, who was charged with disgraceful conduct which related to the production of the inappropriate stubby holders, and two constables who were charged with improper conduct which related to an inapproriate photo, police said.

The three sacked police members have all lodged appeals with the Police Review Services Board.

It was reported in June that up to 50 stubby holders featuring a cartoon of a mudfish and the words, “Sunshine police. Whoever says Sunshine brings happiness has never worked here”, were ordered by members of Sunshine police station.

“Mudfish” is a type of fish and is a common food in many African countries. It is used by some people as derogatory slang for Africans.

Police said that three sergeants had been transferred to other locations. They were each charged with careless discharge of duty and bringing the force into disrepute because of their inaction regarding the production of the stubby holders.

Six members received admonishments and one matter is yet to be heard.

Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said Victoria Police would not tolerate racism in any form. 

“Our actions show that we don’t believe this type of behaviour is appropriate for any serving Victoria Police member. 

“It was important to me that a thorough investigation around this issue was conducted as I understand the expectations of the community. 

“I know that the vast majority of Victoria Police members, including those at Sunshine police station and within the Brimbank PSA, are dedicated, professional, hard working police committed to keeping their communities safe. 

“I want this to demonstrate to the community our ongoing commitment to ensure racism is never an accepted part of Victoria Police culture.”