With Victoria’s crime wave turning into a tsunami this month it would appear that senior law enforcement figures are not just in damage control but denial. Following the denial yesterday from Victoria Police’s Superintendent Therese Fitzgerald that there was no African link with youth crime, despite African gangs being largely responsible for the recent string of violent crimes hitting public places in Victoria the state’s Police Minister has joined in on the denials.
Appearing on 3AW Mornings with fill in presenter Nine News sports presenter Tony Jones Police Minister Lisa Neville when asked about the spate of African gang violence stated “We’ve got to be clear, this is not just an African youth problem”. She defended her claim when pressed by arguing “That’s not what shows up in the crime stats” and that “Overwhelmingly it’s Australian citizens who are offending, some of those are African-born”.
Of course this omits the fact that many gang members of African appearance can be Australian born and Australian citizens. Let us remember that the Flinders Street attacker although he was described as Afghan refugee was actually an Australian citizen. Lisa Neville was also the same Police Minister who glowingly told us earlier this month that crime in Victoria was falling, leaving out that violent crime which is what the public is most worried about is on the rise.
Given the twin denials from both a senior Victoria Police spokesperson and now the Minister responsible it is clear that Victorian authorities now appear unwilling to admit there is a serious African gang violent crime problem.
Neville also claimed her government was making progress in tackling gang crime “We have funded the gangs squad which has been very effective in disrupting these groups”. When asked about the failure of mandatory sentencing laws for attacks on emergency services officers all she did was blame the previous Coalition Government for poorly drafted laws.
What would be a better approach for these spokespeople is understanding the public is alarmed by the outbreak in violent crime this month and pledge to do better in controlling it with tougher policing and new laws if required to stop the judiciary handing out soft sentences which sympathize with the criminal and of course doing away with the politically correct approach.