Police union boss’s message to anti-lockdown thugs ‘intimidating’ police online

Broadcast on 3AW on 27 August 2021

After last weekend’s anti-lockdown protest, which police say was the most violent protest seen on the streets of Melbourne in decades, anti-lockdown thugs are targeting police online.

Some are posting pictures, names and personal details of police who were involved in the rally online — a tactic known as doxxing — and threatening retribution, or even, in some cases, death threats.

Secretary of the Police Association of Victoria, Wayne Gatt, says it’s “clearly an attempt to try and … intimidate police officers”.

He said those who are sharing the identifying information online will face consequences.

“It is a serious criminal offence and Victoria Police will do everything, I’m sure, to try and locate those people and deal with them appropriately,” Mr Gatt told Neil Mitchell.

“Despite what your political attitudes might be, despite what role you think police might be playing, there’s a person behind the uniform … and they’re just doing their job.

“The courts should throw the book at them.”

Mr Gatt slammed Greens MP Tim Read and Liberal Democrat David Limbrick for public comments suggesting the police response at the rally was too strong.

In a tweet, Mr Read said the response was “resembling military force”.

“I’m flabbergasted at how irresponsible those comments can be because that fuels this sort of irresponsible behaviour,” Mr Gatt said.