Operation Wren was an Office of Police Integrity (OPI) investigation into the outcome of a Victoria Police Ethical Standards Department (ESD) investigation, into alleged misconduct by members of the Mounted Branch.
In 2010, OPI commenced Operation Wren, an 'own motion' investigation into the outcome of a Victoria Police Ethical Standards Department (ESD) investigation, into alleged misconduct by members of the Mounted Branch.
In 2008, officers of the Mounted Branch complained to ESD about the conduct of fellow officers which resulted in them being suspended from duty. As a result of advice from the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP), the suspended officers were not prosecuted. Nor were disciplinary charges proceeded with after the officers were deemed to be medically unfit.
The complainants, who were subsequently assessed by the Ombudsman as whistleblowers, then submitted written complaints to OPI. The complaints comprised more than 50 allegations against eight police members, ranging from unlawful disclosures of telephone intercept material and confidential information, to inappropriate interference with witnesses and preparation of the criminal brief.
The OPI investigation involved a review of an allegation of detrimental action lodged by one of the complainants with the Ombudsman, and identified a number of issues relating to Victoria Police's dismissal procedures, internal witness support program and whistleblower protections. These matters have been considered separately by Victoria Police in response to its own investigations.
We completed the investigation of this matter and found allegations that the ESD investigation had not been managed properly and/or had been interfered with or undermined improperly to be unsubstantiated.
We also found no evidence to support serious allegations that the identities of internal witnesses had been improperly or inappropriately revealed, or that telephone intercept material had been leaked unlawfully.
We informed the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police of its findings.