IBAC announces public hearings into aspects of the Victoria Police investigation into the Silk-Miller murders

IBAC will hold public hearings into alleged serious misconduct involving Victoria Police officers in relation to certain aspects of the investigation into the murders of Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller, in February next year.

In November 2017 IBAC, the state’s independent police oversight body, commenced an inquiry into police conduct in the Victoria Police investigation of the murders of Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller in 1998, following the receipt of new information. The investigation, known as Operation Gloucester will now progress to public hearings.

IBAC Commissioner, The Honourable Robert Redlich QC said a primary purpose of the public hearings is to examine conduct in the taking of witness statements by Victoria Police, identified by IBAC during its Operation Gloucester investigation, and to determine whether such conduct is still part of police practice.

“If these concerning practices are still used by Victoria Police they have the potential to impact the integrity of criminal investigations and the delivery of justice,” Commissioner Redlich said.

“The IBAC Operation Gloucester public hearings are necessary to examine a range of concerning practices allegedly used by Victoria Police officers, including during the investigation of the Silk-Miller murders, and to determine if these police practices are still continuing.

“These public hearings are not a ‘reopening’ of Victoria Police’s Operation Lorimer, which investigated the Silk-Miller murders. IBAC will not be reviewing the convictions that resulted from that investigation. There are other established processes to examine such matters,” Commissioner Redlich said.

The Operation Gloucester public hearings will focus on:

  • the Lorimer task force investigation of the murders of Sergeant Silk and Senior Constable Miller, concerning:

    – the taking of witness statements

    – the preparation of the brief of evidence for the trial

    – whether there was full disclosure of witness statements or other relevant information prior to or during the trial

  • witness statement taking practices by Victoria Police
  • compliance with the obligation to disclose evidence by Victoria Police.

The Commissioner will preside at the hearings.Counsel assisting will be Mr Jack Rush QC with Ms Catherine Boston of the Victorian Bar.

Public hearings, as part of an investigation, are one way in which IBAC provides independent oversight of Victoria Police. IBAC’s oversight role includes independently investigating cases of serious or systemic police misconduct and corruption, receiving complaints and reviewing investigations conducted by Victoria Police, and undertaking strategic research and other projects to assist Victoria Police to improve its systems and practices to prevent misconduct.

Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is encouraged to report it at www.ibac.vic.gov.au or phone 1300 735 135.

/Public Release.