Couldn’t ‘help myself’: Queensland police officer shares sexist post weeks after ‘formal guidance’ over social media use

<span>Queensland police officer Brad Rix (left) said the Instagram post was ‘good natured and satirical humour, without any intent or seriousness’.</span><span>Photograph: Queensland police</span>
Queensland police officer Brad Rix (left) said the Instagram post was ‘good natured and satirical humour, without any intent or seriousness’.Photograph: Queensland police

A Queensland police officer has shared a sexist post on social media weeks after receiving “formal guidance” for engaging with lewd and offensive Facebook content.

Officer Brad Rix shared a public Instagram photo ahead of Mother’s Day on 12 May which read, “gentlemen don’t forget to remind the special lady in your life to make sure she gets all her housework and chores done on Saturday so she can enjoy mother’s day on Sunday”.

In a caption, Rix wrote: “A public service announcement for all my mates. Make sure the mums in your life get the day they deserve tomorrow” before explaining the post was “in good natured and satirical humour, without any intent or seriousness”.

“If offended please scroll on, delete or defriend, and don’t screenshot or share outside my friend group [winky face].

“Thanks to the couple of lads who sent me these images knowing full well I wouldn’t be able to help myself.”

The Instagram account, which has since been locked, dates back to 2012. It contains various pictures of Rix – including in Queensland police service (QPS) uniform. His followers include several members of the QPS.

Related: High-ranking Queensland police officers under scrutiny over offensive social media activity

The Instagram post came a week after Queensland police confirmed several officers had received formal guidance “from a senior officer in relation to their personal use of social media”.

An investigation by Guardian Australia revealed high-ranking members of the QPS publicly shared and commented on vulgar social media posts over several years, including one about a sexual assault and others about pornography, masturbation and dildos.

Another post that Rix has shared on Facebook every International Women’s Day since at least 2021 was also reviewed as part of an internal QPS review. The post is of a photo of a wrinkled banner and reads: “International women’s day – could’ve ironed it.”

Guardian Australia understands multiple complaints have been made to Queensland police about the post.

QPS requested Guardian Australia send questions about officers’ social media use directly to them rather than contacting officers involved. A QPS spokesperson said complaints about their members are “treated seriously and [are] subject of a rigorous assessment process within the Ethical Standards Command, before determining how best it should be dealt with”.

Regarding the Mother’s Day post by Rix, a QPS spokesperson said: “The Ethical Standards Command is aware of the incident, which is currently the subject of assessment.”

“[The QPS] takes all allegations of sexist or misogynistic comments by its members very seriously.”

The spokesperson said the service expects members to “adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct, both at work and in their private lives, including their online activities”.

“Any conduct by members that falls short of these standards will be appropriately dealt with through the QPS’s discipline system,” they said.

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