The “Safer Maylands” Facebook page was started up by Bayswater police in 2015 with hopes that community members would take over the day-to-day running of the site, but this election the community page hosted a paid-for ad for candidate Kate Thomson.
If coppers endorsed a party-aligned candidate it would surely raise eyebrows, but it’s a mystery who’s actually running the page now, with the last official post from police coming in November 25, 2015.
Fellow south ward candidate Elli Petersen-Pik posted under the ad: “in the interest of transparency, and as this page represents itself as an independent, can you please share with us who is managing the page?”
“Can you also tell us who has paid for the sponsorship of this post promoting a political candidate?”
His post was deleted by the page’s anonymous administrator. The Voice contacted the page too, asking who the administrator was and who put up the ad.
“There are multiple admins on this page,” the anonymous page-owner said. We asked again, who paid for the ad.
“The police have had no input into this page for over 18 months. The promotion was stopped as soon as it was raised as an issue. Someone just got excited at seeing a candidate talking about the issue of safety.”
We asked “who am I talking to at the moment?”
The page owner never responded.