Melbourne’s annual Moomba festival has yet again become a flashpoint for gang violence carried out mainly by youths of African appearance. It was at Melbourne’s Moomba festival three years ago that the Apex African gang introduced itself to the wider Melbourne public.
And despite during that interval African gang crime being reported, discussed with the state police and government promising to do something about it, every year after that the same violence has occurred at the same event, at the same location.
This year three separate brawls broke out in the Melbourne CBD on Saturday night at Flinders Street Station, Federation Square and outside St Paul’s Cathedral. In vision obtained from Flinders Street and the Cathedral it can been seen the youths are of African appearance.
Police made over 20 arrests which included seven people for public drunkenness, eight for assault, five for possessing weapons and four for drug offences. Most disturbingly a woman was sexually assaulted and another woman was punched in the face.
Police have also come under fire for pushing a women to the ground who interrupted their attempt to arrest a man. Victoria Police’s Professional Standards Unit is now investigating
Yet amazingly Victoria Police said they were happy with the behaviour of the Moomba crowds claiming the ‘City had a good feel’ to it and that Melbourne is a relatively safe city, as demonstrated by our world’s most livable city titles.
The annual Moomba violence caps of over a week of violent crime in Melbourne with five people shot dead in four shootings across the city in ten days, three of which were gang related.
At the Melbourne Pavillion in Kensington in Melbourne’s inner west on March 1st one man was shot dead and two others were critically injured during a shooting spree, vehicles on the road and pedestrians on the street attempted to avoid the cross fire. Four suspects were identified with two arrested in Sydney after a week on the run. The execution style shooting has been linked to a bloody Middle Eastern gang war.
On March 3 Mitat Rasimi a known associate of jailed gangland figure Tony Mokbel was found dead in Dandenong after crashing his car into a pole, however he had been shot several times prior to the crash.
On March 4 two men were shot dead in separate but related incidents in Meadow Heights in Melbourne’s north. Victoria Police confirmed they were killed by other known parties with it being suspected to be gang related with Crime Command Commissioner Michael Frewen stating “A 40-year-old and a 28-year-old have been shot as a result of contact between themselves and other parties”.
Then on Sunday night Winis Apet, 20 was shot dead allegedly by his childhood friend Paguir Pan, 19 in Springvale after the pair had an altercation. Pan has been charged with his murder and remanded in custody.
These four shootings have stoked fear in the community that another gang war may be brewing in Melbourne, fueled by ethnic tensions. This is on top of the already visible African youth gang crime wave that gripped Melbourne last summer as well as this summer, especially at local beaches.
Many commentators have claimed that the landslide re-election of the Andrews Labor Government proved that concern about crime in Melbourne had been overblown and voters saw through a fear campaign.
However shootings, brawls, robberies and of course terror attacks continue to happen, real crimes with real victims, with crime statistics backing up the concerns about growing violent crime in Melbourne.