Melbourne's charming African "refugees"

MELBOURNE'S Indian and Pakistani taxi drivers are being bashed and robbed by African youth gangs. And there are fears the number of attacks reported to Victoria Police is only the tip of the iceberg. The hot spot for inter-racial violence is Melbourne's inner north. This year between May 8 and August 2 there were 12 reported robberies on taxi drivers in Flemington, Moonee Ponds and Ascot Vale.

Police will not officially acknowledge any particular ethnic group is a target, or that any other group is carrying out the crimes. But in every case the victims told police their attackers were African and there was always more than one. Knives are the weapon in most taxi robberies reported to police, but meat cleavers and screw drivers have also been used. Ten of the 12 victims are from the Indian sub-continent, but police are not prepared to say Melbourne's foreign student taxi drivers have become targets.

Det Sgt Paul Lunt from the armed robbery taskforce said taxi drivers were being chosen because they were seen by some as soft targets. "I can't think of a time in the last five years when we've had a series of attacks like this on cab drivers," Det Sgt Lunt said. "If they commit one robbery it becomes easier to carry out the next one and the one after, and they do escalate in violence as they become a series. "What starts as a threat demanding money progresses into actual violence."

Liberal MP Bernie Finn, whose electorate covers the danger zone, said police had to start acknowledging they had a gang problem. "What we need to do is round up the ringleaders of these gangs and send them home," Mr Finn said. "We are more than capable of producing our own thugs and thieves without importing them. "The biggest hurdle we face is that we have a chief commissioner of police who refuses to accept that gangs exist. She won't even say the word gang."


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

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