Victoria Police has asked Facebook to cancel about six sites, but Deputy Commissioner Tim Cartwright says the social media network operator has declined, despite fears that these sites could prejudice a fair trial.

“(It’s) pretty disappointing, some of those sites are inciting hatred and really quite disgusting in the sorts of messages they’re portraying,” Mr Cartwright told reporters on Monday.

“The fact is a man’s been arrested, we have a good, fair legal process in this state, we need to let it run the course.”

Facebook said it was working with Victorian Police and was committed to acting quickly to remove or restrict content if it violated the company’s policies or the law.

“We take our statement of rights and responsibilities very seriously and react quickly to remove reported content that violates our policies and also to restrict access to content in a country, where we are advised that it violates local law,” a Facebook statement said.

“While we do not comment on individual requests or cases, we can confirm that we are still in contact with the local law enforcement in Victoria.”

Mr Cartwright said some of the comments posted were “pretty vile”, and there was a risk posting such material in the public domain could affect the trial of the accused.

“At the very least they’re trying to incite hatred and violence.”

A Facebook page was set up to help find Irish-born Ms Meagher after she disappeared in the early hours of September 22 and several tribute pages were established after the 29-year-old’s body was found and a suspect charged early on Friday morning.

A number of hate pages directed at the suspect have also been set up, with one attracting 44,000 likes.

Jill Meagher murder timeline

• Items belonging to Meagher recovered
• Police discover CCTV of journalist near last known location
• Police release CCTV of man wanted for questioning
• Adrian Ernest Bayley arrested
• Bayley appears in court charged with rape and murder of Jill Meagher 

Both Ms Meagher’s grieving family and Victoria Police have acknowledged the role social media played in the search for the ABC radio employee, but police on Friday issued a call for calm, asking people to refrain from posting “inappropriate comments that might jeopardise a successful prosecution”.

Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said police were working through their options following Facebook’s refusal to remove the sites.

“It is disappointing, and when you see the hatred that’s incited by some of these sites, it is very much the antithesis of what we saw yesterday with 30,000 people taking to the streets saying `let’s try and make this a safer and fairer community’,” he told Fairfax Radio on Monday.

“We’ve all got a social responsibility and Facebook is part of our community, and I would’ve thought it would only have been reasonable.”

Adrian Ernest Bayley, 41, of Coburg, has been charged with Ms Meagher’s rape and murder. He is in custody awaiting a committal mention hearing on January 18.

A news report on Monday suggested Bayley is being moved to higher security in jail amid fears he will be attacked by other inmates.

A Corrections Victoria spokesman said it does not comment on individual inmates.