Victoria Police trainer Niall Waring accused of bullying, sexism, racism and homophobia

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Waring will appear before a police disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, months after he was arrested and suspended by internal investigators.

His arrest was linked to the suspicion that he may have committed a criminal offense under the ‘Brodie Law’ against bullying, although Internal Affairs officers later chose to submit him only to an internal disciplinary hearing. , suggesting that there was insufficient evidence to mount a criminal case. bullying case in court.

An academy insider said the training college was toxic, staff suffered from mental health issues, low morale and a “bullying environment”.

In a statement, Victoria Police confirmed that the senior sergeant “has been suspended with pay pending an internal disciplinary hearing”.

“The 46-year-old was suspended following allegations of misconduct at Glen Waverley between 2019 and 2020 while on duty…The matter is being dealt with through the disciplinary stream after a internal investigation revealed that she did not meet the threshold for criminal charges.

News of the disciplinary charges will be highly controversial within the force due to Waring’s role at the academy, which is responsible for training all new officers and raising culture and standards throughout the force. .

The new allegations threaten to sour Victoria Police’s relationship with the Muslim community and raise new questions about internal culture seven years after the Victorian Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Commission blasted the force for rampant sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

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However, Waring has strong support in the pockets of the force and in political and community ranks, including those who believe the disciplinary charge is unwarranted. An academy insider said the training college was toxic and many staff suffered from mental health issues, poor morale and a “bullying environment”.

The source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, also said that Waring did not receive proper mental health support from police after the Haider terror attack, and that this may have contributed to some of his alleged conduct.

“He should have had someone in the force to make sure he was coping. I do not endorse the [alleged] behavior but Victoria Police must be partly responsible for it,” the source said.

Another academy source said the scandal left the alleged victims feeling broken and unsupported by force. A third source said the academy has failed to effectively implement programs to prevent workplace harassment and inappropriate behavior.

Waring’s indictment on disciplinary offenses raises serious questions about the management of the academy, which trains new and mid-career police officers and is believed to play a key role in tackling the force’s historic cultural issues regarding the discrimination and harassment based on gender and culture.

age does not suggest that the allegations against Waring are true, only that they led to his internal accusation of disgraceful conduct. He has not responded to efforts to contact him, but appears to vehemently oppose the forcible handling of the case against him.

Next week’s disciplinary hearing will test key evidence gathered by internal investigators and assess whether the case against Waring has merit. If so, he could be fired, demoted or advised.

The police union declined to comment on Waring’s case when contacted by age.

The Waring case is not the first time the police academy has faced allegations of bullying and discrimination. In 2008, The Age reported that the academy’s school of investigation would face a major shake-up after a high-profile investigation found evidence of nepotism, intimidation of anti-corruption detectives and misogyny.

At the time, the police union criticized plans to overhaul the school which trains police to become detectives, calling moves to increase the number of female or non-police instructors “ridiculous”.

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