An investigation is underway into leaked photos of former AFL player and coach Dean Laidley inside a police station following his arrest.
Victoria Police on Monday confirmed the force's internal investigator, Professional Standards Command, will investigate the leak.
‘RIDICULOUS’: AFL great fumes over journo's 'whingers' remark
“This is one of the most significant breaches of a person's privacy and Victoria Police will not tolerate this sort of behaviour,” a spokeswoman said on Monday.
“The community can be assured that we share these concerns and we are taking the matter extremely seriously.”
Laidley was arrested on Saturday night outside a home in St Kilda and charged with stalking and other offences.
On Sunday, photos of the 53-year-old's mug shot, as well as a photo of him in a long blonde wig and wearing a dress were disseminated on social media.
The latter photo appears to be taken from inside the police station looking into the interview room where Laidley was being questioned.
Police Minister Lisa Neville described the leak as “completely unacceptable”.
“It was an idiotic thing to do, it's an unacceptable thing to do,” she told reporters, noting the investigation was “well and truly underway”.
“Fast action will be taken I think over that issue this afternoon.”
But Ms Neville dismissed concerns the taking and leaking of the photos had transphobic overtones.
“I think this had much more to do about football than it did about anything else, but let the investigation go on,” she said.
Laidley’s lawyers fume over leaked photos
Laidley's lawyer Dee Giannopoulos described the incident as a gross breach of privacy.
“Outraged that pictures of my client, taken by some police officer, on the sly, when in custody in interview have hit the media. Typical #grossbreachofprivacy,” she tweeted.
Outraged that pictures of my client, taken by some police officer, on the sly , when in custody in interview have hit the media. Typical #grossbreachofprivacy— Dee Giannopoulos (@deeglaw) May 3, 2020
Another of his lawyers, Bill Doogue, also tweeted his anger.
“Disgraceful. Taking photos unlawfully and sharing them. And these were sneaky photos while in Police interview in Police Station by a Police Officer,” Mr Doogue said.
“Police should investigate and those involved pull down immediately.”
Disgraceful. Taking photos unlawfully and sharing them. And these were sneaky photos while in Police interview in Police Station by a Police Officer. FFS. https://t.co/XL57NIjDrg— Bill Doogue (@billdoogue) May 3, 2020
Police should investigate and those involved pull down immediately.— Bill Doogue (@billdoogue) May 3, 2020
Laidley faced Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Sunday and will remain in custody until May 11 after not applying for bail.
He played 151 AFL games from 1987-97 and was an inaugural player at West Coast.
After 52 games with the Eagles he joined the Kangaroos from 1993 and played 99 games at Arden St, including their 1996 premiership.
Laidley succeeded Denis Pagan as North coach in 2003 and in 149 games led them to the finals three times, before resigning during the 2009 season.
He then had assistant coaching roles at three AFL clubs until 2015.