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Victorian top cop warns against hysterical response to attacks

Last Updated: Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 15:40

Melbourne: Conceding that there were
"some" racist attacks on Indian students in Australia,
Victorian police chief on Thursday cautioned against "hysterical"
response to such assaults as it could lead to more violence.

Police Commissioner Simon Overland said the level of
violence in the community was unacceptable, but Victoria was
still a safe state by national and international standards.

"I fear that the hysterical commentary will only spawn
more violence as attitudes polarise and harden, leading to
more hard core racist intentions and violence," Overland said.

"We need to be very careful, as this is a path to be
avoided at all costs," the official said.

He said there was no doubt some of the recent
robberies and other acts of violence against Indian students
were racist.

"Of course, we have racism in this country - we are
like any country. But it is a mistake to oversimplify these
crimes and point to a racial motivation in all or a majority
of them," he said, adding many of the victims had simply been
in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Many of the robberies were opportunistic and targeted
against jobs such as taxi drivers or late night shop
attendants, which were often done by Indian students.


First Published: Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 15:40
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