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Victoria police officers allegedly pretended to be non-binary to get more clothing allowance as female officers can claim more than male colleagues

Victoria police are investigating extraordinary claims a number of male police officers pretended to be non-binary to claim more money from a clothing allowance scheme.

In a statement to news.com.au Victoria Police said “professional standards command detectives were conducting the investigation into fraudulent civilian clothing allowance claims”.

“A search warrant was executed at a Southern Region police station on 21 July as part of the investigations,” the statement continued.

Inquiries are ongoing with so far 17 male police officers being interviewed as part of the investigation.

Non-binary is the umbrella term for gender identities that are not solely male or female.

Female officers can claim a clothing allowance of about $1300 more than their male colleagues.

According to The Age, Victoria Police officers searched the force’s Frankston station and interviewed several officers in July.

Chief Commissioner Shane Patton told the publication that “conduct of this sort, if validated, is not acceptable and falls far short of the standards I expect from Victoria Police members and standards of behaviour outlined in our code of conduct and Victoria Police values”.

He said the option to identify as non-binary was introduced about three years ago as an act of good faith to support gender diverse employees.

“This behaviour has had a significant impact on our gender diverse employees and our reputation among the Victorian LGBTIQ+ community,” he said.

He said it would be “very disappointing” if the investigation found police officers were exploiting the scheme.

Officers wanting to claim the allowance, which is paid fortnightly, must now make a sworn statement if intending to self-describe as non-binary.

Reports emerged about the issue in June with the Instagram account @discernableofficial sharing that there were “unconfirmed reports from inside Victoria police that management is pulling their hair out after the majority of a CIU (Crime Investigation Unit) in Southern Region changed their profile in the HR system to be ‘gender neutral’”.

(Source: News.com.au)

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