real life

Former senior constable reveals homophobic, sexist bullying from colleagues in Victorian Police

A leading senior constable in Victoria Police has told how cruel, homophobic bullying and threats to taser her drove her out of the force.

Nicki Lewis also claims she heard reports of male police acting in a “predatory” way towards other female police and women in the community.

She told 7.30 she suffered intimidation and threats of violence at the hands of some staff during her time working in regional Victoria for the police force and has raised allegations of male police blackmailing female drivers for sex.

homophobic bullying in vic police
(Image via ABC 7:30)

“I heard from five or six people that [a] male officer would pull women over in traffic and give them tickets and then go to [their] house later and say they would cancel the ticket in return for sexual favours,” Ms Lewis said in a submission to the Victoria Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC).

Her revelations come on the eve of a landmark inquiry by VEOHRC into bullying and harassment within Victoria Police.

VEOHRC surveyed 5,000 current and former police about sexual harassment and bullying within the force, and conducted 150 interviews.

Former chief commissioner Ken Lay announced the review into predatory behaviour and sex discrimination within Victoria Police in 2014.

Bullying and intimidation dismissed as a ‘lesbian drama

Ms Lewis claims she complained to a male colleague about the bullying she suffered, but it was explained away.

“When I talked about this with a male colleague he said, ‘oh, that other lesbian’,” she told 7.30.

“He minimised what was happening by treating it like it was just some ‘lesbian drama’.

“That sort of homophobic attitude is common.”

Ms Lewis said the VEOHRC review should have come sooner, and if it had, she might still have a career within the police force.

She is currently on a disability pension awaiting finalisation of her case.

“I did live for the job,” Ms Lewis said.


“So to be stripped of what is most important to you has been devastating.

“It’s really hard to set up a new life.

“I’ve lost everything as a consequence of this workplace bullying.”

Co-worker spread rumours Lewis had STDs

Ms Lewis said at the height of her bullying experience she was shunned by many co-workers, one of whom spread false rumours about her having a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and warned others not to touch her belongings.

“I had left my wallet at work and I had a person go into the station to collect it,” she said.

“In the foyer of the station, the bullying member said that I had four-five sexual partners on the go and that I potentially had STDs and that she would not go and get the wallet personally because she didn’t know what she would catch.”

She also claims the individual offered to another person to “taser, baton or shoot” Ms Lewis.

“It shatters your self-belief about yourself, you second question yourself, you wonder whether you are actually all the things they are trying to paint you to be,” she said.

“In the end it just escalates to the point where you … go into work and your heart rate is through the roof and there is nothing you can do to calm yourself down.”

VEOHRC Commissioner Kate Jenkins declined to comment ahead of the report’s release on Wednesday.

This post originally appeared on ABC Online.

© 2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. Read the ABC Disclaimer here.