Melbourne, Australia is a clean, vibrant city with a strong retail precinct and an eclectic collection of ethnic restaurants, high end shops and is the home to the Melbourne Cup, the race that “stops a nation.
On Saturday 12 March 2016, the Central Business District (CBD) of Melbourne was transformed into Mogadishu (or is that, Cologne...?) when up to 200 members of the Apex Gang went on a violent rampage through Federation Square and Flinders Street station.
A credible warning to the police from a Channel 7 reporter at 6:00 pm that a riot was brewing in the Melbourne CBD was brushed aside by senior Victorian Police.
In fact, the warning was dismissed by police as -- and I quote -- “s--t.”
This is not the first time the Apex gang has caused problems for Melbourne residents and visitors:
In January 2016, a female police officer was threatened by an Apex gang member that she would be shot in the street. It is understood that she is on extended leave suffering anxiety and stress.
In December last year, the Apex gang caused disturbances during New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Victorian Police are now saying that they weren’t caught by surprise, and had the resources to hand to control the mob of angry young men, but witness statements reveal the horror on show, including weapons, screams, fights, chairs flying and violence galore.
This afternoon it has been reported by The Age that:
“On Sunday night, Victoria Police circulated an email to members warning them against talking about the nationalities of offenders."
The email stated it was a "multi-cultural" incident and officers had to ensure they do not target specific groups.
Police said they handled the situation appropriately, but were concerned about fresh threats on social media.
Mr Ashton said at least 100 officers would continue to patrol the CBD around the Moomba festival in light of more promises of violence on Sunday night, which did not eventuate.
Columnist Andrew Bolt has more on a recent security scare at a local Melbourne hospital, as described by youth worker Les Twentymen:
While many young African-born people have settled into our way of life, making a go of it at school, university and work, a growing minority of angry young men are turning to binge drinking and crime gangs — and causing the sort of mayhem we saw on Saturday when the predominantly Sudanese Apex gang fought the Islander 23 gang.
Unfortunately, the violence isn’t limited to Saturday nights in the city. I witnessed this problem first-hand at Footscray’s Western Hospital a few days ago when a drunken gang of young Africans terrorised patients in the outpatients’ waiting room. I’d called in for some minor treatment but didn’t expect the scene that confronted me.
One young man, bleeding from the mouth, was spitting blood on the hospital floor while his drunken mates harassed and badgered staff to treat him and intimidated elderly patients waiting to see a doctor. Security was called and police arrived in force to bring them under control. It was ugly and scary. We’re seeing similar incidents in Pakenham, Noble Park, Flemington, Ascot Vale and Sunshine.