Investigation summaries

Operation Hydrogen

An investigation into allegations of detrimental action taken against a police member during and after an internal investigation.

In February 2013, the Victorian Ombudsman notified us of a complaint made by a senior police officer about Victoria Police management.

In November 2013, Victoria Police notified us of a complaint by the same officer alleging detrimental action in response to his earlier complaint by members of the Victoria Police senior command.

Taken together, the complaints included allegations of:

  • poor treatment during an internal investigation and denial of natural justice
  • detrimental action in a return to active duty to an inferior position, despite the basis for the initial investigation having been found to be unsubstantiated
  • lack of action by senior command in responding to the matter.


Our investigation found that:

  • Victoria Police took reasonable steps in response to the initial allegations. However, subsequent multiple investigations conducted into the allegations had taken over 18 months
  • IBAC could identify no evidence that any person at Victoria Police intended such a delay. Victoria Police took reasonable steps to ensure the senior officer was updated on the progress of investigations, and provided appropriate welfare and support assistance
  • the transfer of position offered following the investigations was appropriate and commensurate with the rank, skills and experience of the senior officer.

Victoria Police and the senior officer were informed of the outcomes of our investigation in February 2014.