Media Releases

IBAC report highlights the risks of poorly managed conflicts of interest and information misuse within Victoria Police

The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) has tabled a special report in Parliament on Operation Dawson, an IBAC investigation that found former Victoria Police Superintendent Paul Rosenblum misused his position to involve himself in police investigations into allegations of historical sexual offences that involved associates of his church.

Mr Rosenblum was found to have accessed and disclosed police information to people associated with or involved in the investigation, without authorisation. He was also found to have drafted a letter, intended to be signed by an alleged victim of a sexual offence, requesting Victoria Police take no further action with its investigation of the offence.

IBAC Commissioner, The Honourable Robert Redlich AM, QC said that while Mr Rosenblum was driven by the genuine desire to support his church associates through a difficult period, his actions were wholly inappropriate and represented a clear conflict of interest.

"His actions also risked undermining community confidence in the independence and integrity of Victoria Police. His seniority further exacerbated the seriousness of his conduct," Commissioner Redlich said.

The special report highlights how conflicts can arise between a police officer's public duty and their personal interests, and how those conflicts can have serious consequences, including undermining community confidence in the independence and integrity of Victoria Police.

"IBAC has repeatedly raised concerns with the management of conflicts of interest in Victoria Police.  Leaders at Victoria Police have a responsibility to set the organisation’s tone from the top, by providing strong, ethical leadership and fostering the right culture," Commissioner Redlich said.

The investigation also identified poor complaints management by Victoria Police Professional Standards Command which became aware of the allegations against Superintendent Rosenblum in 2017, however due to an error in classification, didn’t notify IBAC about the allegations until two months later.  

"While we acknowledge Victoria Police has made some progress addressing the corruption and misconduct risks highlighted by Operation Dawson, more needs to be done," Commissioner Redlich said.

IBAC has recommended that Victoria Police regularly reinforces to police personnel the legislation, policies and requirements around the access and use of Victoria Police information.

IBAC has also recommended that the Victorian Government amend section 226 of the Victoria Police Act 2013 (Vic) to provide a clear obligation for police personnel to only access, make use of, or disclose police information if required by their current duties.


In April 2019, Mr Rosenblum resigned from Victoria Police while under investigation. Mr Rosenblum was charged by IBAC in October 2019. In March 2021, he pleaded guilty to unauthorised access of police information and was sentenced to a three-month adjourned undertaking with no conviction recorded. He was also ordered to make a $10,000 contribution to Beyond Blue and a $10,000 contribution to the Blue Ribbon Foundation.

IBAC has repeatedly raised concerns with the management of conflicts of interest in Victoria Police including through IBAC investigations, reviews of Victoria Police investigations and audits of how Victoria Police handles complaints.

IBAC has also raised concerns with Victoria Police about how they handle official information and law enforcement data, including personal information it holds about Victorians.


IBAC's independent police oversight role

The breadth of IBAC's independent oversight of Victoria Police includes:

  • receiving complaints/notifications about conduct of police personnel (including complaints received by Victoria Police, which are mandatorily reported to IBAC)
  • assessing allegations about police misconduct to determine which are to be investigated by IBAC, referred to Victoria Police for action, and which are to be dismissed
  • IBAC also reviews the outcomes of Victoria Police internal investigations to check they have been investigated thoroughly and fairly. Our reviews may result in recommendations for Victoria Police to strengthen its policies and procedures to address systemic police misconduct issues and risks and improve its conduct of internal investigations.
  • conducting 'own motion' investigations (ie we don’t have to have received a complaint) and we have a 'standing own motion' in relation to deaths or serious injuries after police contact
  • conducting investigations into serious or systemic police misconduct, including holding private or public examinations
  • monitoring and ensuring Victoria Police acts in response to IBAC's investigations and reviews
  • auditing how Victoria Police handles complaints
  • overseeing Victoria Police's compliance with five Acts including the Crimes Act, Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Act, Sex Offenders Registration Act, Witness Protection Act and the Firearms Act and commencing in 2022 IBAC will also assume a compliance and reporting function in relation to Victoria Police's registration and management of human sources; and
  • developing and presenting prevention education and training for Victoria Police officers and employees.

About IBAC

IBAC is Victoria's agency responsible for preventing and exposing public sector corruption and police misconduct. To report corruption or misconduct now, visit or call 1300 735 135.

Media contact: or 0427 480 840.