‘Police are running scared’: Fury as it’s revealed cops CHOSE not to arrest rampaging Sudanese youths who threatened to raid homes and abused locals as ‘white trash’ in terrifying riot through the streets of Melbourne
The community terrorised by warring Sudanese gangs has reacted with fury amid revelations police ‘tactically’ chose not to arrest the rampaging perpetrators.
About 100 youths gathered for an organised fight which was sparked over a ‘teenage issue over a girl’ at Taylors Hill in Melbourne’s north-west on Wednesday evening.
The riot squad broke up the two groups, who bragged police ‘can’t touch us’, abused locals as ‘white trash’ and threatened to ransack their homes.
Metro Commander Tim Hansen said arresting the youths was never the priority of police, even when officers were pelted with rocks.
The community terrorised by Sudanese gangs has reacted with fury amid revelations police chose not to arrest the youths, despite rocks being hurled at officers and their vehicles
‘Our short-term objectives last night were to make residents safe and disperse that group and return good order to that residential area,’ Mr Hansen told 3AW Radio.
‘We were really successful at that. We launched an investigation overnight… I just want to reassure everyone, we take a zero tolerance with this sort of behaviour.’
Members of the pubic reported youths were armed with baseball bats, while the riot squad had rocks hurled at them as they moved the crowd on.
Three people from the incident had been identified and police are confident of ‘a solution for us today or in coming days’.
Victoria Police has come under fire from locals and the wider Melbourne community for not making any arrests, with many arguing officers are ‘running scared of African gangs’.
Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said about 20-30 Sudanese Australians were involved in the fight, while dozens more were spectators. Officers are pictured at the scene on Thursday
The riot squad broke up the two groups, who bragged police ‘can’t touch us’, abused locals as ‘white trash’ and threatened to ransack their homes
‘If someone else was to do something like that, would they be charged?’ one Taylors Hill local questioned to Nine News.
‘Would they be arrested? What is going on? There needs to be something done.’
Others took to social media to suggest police ‘run for the hills’ when it comes to African gangs.
Vic Police are running scared of these African gangs… the gangs are now controlling the police,’ one wrote on Twitter.
‘If they did arrest them, the judges would send them home with an Xbox,’ another suggested.
Overturned basketball equipment is pictured at the scene as police patrol the area on Thursday
Taylor Hills locals and the wider Melbourne community for not making any arrests, with many arguing officers are ‘running scared of African gangs’
Mr Hansen added he’d seen vision of girls fighting, believed to be connected to the incident.
The video, shared on social media, showed two females brawling on the ground as onlookers urged others to ‘let them fight’. Another asked: ‘Do you want to f***ing die?’
The youths had ‘pre-existing tensions’ and agreed to meet at Watergardens Shopping Centre in Taylors Lakes to fight before police moved them on.
They then took public transport to Lonzo Park in Taylors Hill and threw ‘a number of projectiles believed to be rocks’, police said.
Two rival gangs terrorised residents in Taylors Hill, where they met for an organised fight at about 5.30pm on Wednesday
Taylors Hill locals were told to hide, one telling ABC that police requested they go inside and lock their doors.
‘I’d say they were being a bit abusive in terms of … they were sledging the coppers and the police were clearly outnumbered. That was pretty clear,’ said one.
‘There were a lot of females and they were being most vocal just swearing, and carrying on.’
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told ABC Melbourne about 20-30 Sudanese Australians were involved in the fight, while dozens more gathered to watch.
‘It was kids from our Australian Sudanese [community] coming from the southern suburbs to meet up with kids from the northern suburbs to have a bit of clash there… about girlfriends or something like that,’ he said.
He said police used crowd control equipment to move on the youths – which could include throwing out smoke or loud noise.
‘They are groups of kids coming together. You can call them gangs… But if you think of them as gangs it’s not the way we tend to respond to them as they don’t have the traditional thing that we think groups have,’ he said.
‘These are groups that use social media.’
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton slammed Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews in the aftermath and claimed the state government refused to accept it had a gang problem.
‘I don’t know what sort of social experiment Daniel Andrews is trying to conduct in Victoria, but it is failing. Now, they don’t even want to accept that they’ve got gangs,’ he told Sydney radio 2GB on Thursday.
‘We’ve been blamed for causing a spike in the number of complaints to the something or other commissioner in Victoria, some do-gooder down there, because we’ve made reference to African gangs, that somehow that’s contributing.
‘It’s complete garbage, and if you call it out, this is our country, everybody, regardless of your skin colour, your religion, you abide by the one law.’
Mr Dutton accused the premier of ‘living in some sort of parallel universe’.
‘[Mr Andrews] needs to come out and start sorting this out, because at the moment people are getting hurt and somebody is going to be killed,’ he said.
‘We’ve predicted that before. Tragically that’s how it will elevate, and it needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later.’
A heavy police presence remained at the scene in Taylors Hill, Melbourne, on Thursday
One local said the once peaceful area had been troublesome for the past two years
There were no arrests and no injuries as a result of Wednesday night’s incident.
Commissioner Ashton said Victoria Police had never argued there wasn’t a problem with African gangs.
‘No one’s said it’s never been a problem, no one said it’s not something we’re trying to address… that seems to have been fictionalised,’ he told the ABC.
Premier Andrews said the rapid police response to the situation was appropriate.
Victoria Police said rocks were thrown at officers and a police vehicle was damaged
‘It would have been very, very distressing for local residents and they can be assured we will continue to provide Victoria Police with every single thing they need in order to fight crime and make the community safer,’ he said.
South Sudanese community representative Maker Mayek said the ‘regrettable’ incident could be traced back to a Facebook post flagging the fight.
‘It was a very, very unfortunate situation and it’s one that we as members of the community really do denounce,’ Mr Mayek told Sky News on Thursday.
Locals were told to ‘stay inside and lock their doors’ when the groups gathered in Taylors Hill
Riot police were deployed and officers were pelted with rocks, with residents told rival gangs had arranged to meet ‘for war’
‘No-one should feel unsafe in their homes. I’ve seen people saying their children were terrified. This is an absolutely horrific thing to see.
‘It’s not the African community, it’s not the Africans in general, these are young people from the South Sudanese community, and we want to make it clear no one condones their actions.’
In a statement, Victoria Police said rocks were thrown at officers and a police vehicle was damaged, but there was ‘no threat to community safety’.
Police are urging anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers.
Victoria Police said rocks were thrown at officers and a police vehicle was damaged. Officers are pictured at the scene on Thursday