Victorian Police are investigating allegations that some of its officers were falsely identifying as non-binary to claim additional clothing allowance.
Professional standards command detectives interviewed eight male officers and raids were conducted at a southern region police station, a spokesperson said in a statement.
“Professional Standards Command detectives are conducting an investigation into fraudulent civilian clothing allowance claims,” the spokesperson said.
“Investigators have so far interviewed eight male officers in relation to the matter over the past several weeks.
A search warrant was also executed at a Southern Region police station on 21 July as part of the investigation.
As enquiries are ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
A police officer attached to the Frankston crime investigation unit was arrested in connection with the case, reported Nine Newspapers.
The allegations first surfaced online on Instagram in June. The Instagram page @discernibleofficial posted: “We have unconfirmed reports from inside Victoria Police that management is pulling their hair out after a majority of a CIU (crime investigation unit) in the southern region changed their profile in the HR system to be ‘gender neutral’.”
Conduct Impacts LGBTQI Officers, Says Commissioner
Female officers are entitled to $1,300 more in clothing allowance than their male colleagues. Some of the male officers were accused of pretending to self-identify as non-binary to fraudulently claim additional clothing allowance.
In July, police Commissioner Shane Patton ordered an investigation into the allegations of fraud perpetrated by some police officers.
In a statement to officers, Patton said that the conduct was unacceptable, reported Nine Newspapers.
“This behaviour has had a significant impact on our gender-diverse employees and our reputation among the Victorian LGBTIQ+ community. If validated, I will find it very disappointing that those employees have engaged in such conduct, exploiting an entitlement for those who identify as gender diverse,” Patton said.