Residents have now formed a group to raise the matter of community safety with the police minister in order to push for more police presence in the area.
Five teenage Indian-origin school students were allegedly attacked by a group of ‘African’ teenagers in a western suburb of Melbourne on Saturday, leaving at least one of them with injuries and cuts on the upper body and face as the attackers used selfie sticks as weapons.
The victims have been left ‘shaken’ and are now too scared to venture out of their homes.
According to their statements given to the police at Wyndham North police station, the five friends were taking a snack break at the Oval in Goddard Reserve, Tarneit when one of the attackers approached them.
“They started kicking our soccer ball at us, and it hit me in the head. I told them to stop and I said I felt bullied,” one of the victims told police.
“A few of them kicked me, at least five times when I was sitting on the ground,” he added.
The attackers, all of whom were between 12 and 17 years of age, then grabbed selfie sticks from the boys’ bags and allegedly began hitting them.
They were circling around us and kicking us while we were sitting on the ground. They kicked us in the back and the back of our heads. They took selfie sticks from our bags and hit us with those.
“They were circling around us and kicking us while we were sitting on the ground. They kicked us in the back and the back of our heads. They took selfie sticks from our bags and hit us with those,” said another complainant.
The attack left at least one of the victims bleeding, and an ambulance was called.
The boys were also robbed of their headphones, soccer top and money.
The police attended the scene after a passerby called 0-0-0.
One of the victims said he identified two of the attackers as they had attended the school with him. No arrests have been made in the case so far.
Parents of the victims fear for the safety of their children as they say incidents of lawlessness are very common in the area.
Community safety is a major issue in the area which is primarily due to the lack of police presence here. The only solution is to increase police patrolling.
Tarneit residents have formed an action group to raise the issue of rising crime in the area with the police minister.
“It wasn’t an isolated incident as there was a gang of 15 involved in the attack,” said Jasvinder Sidhu, a prominent Labor figure in Victoria's Indian community.
“Community safety is a major issue in the area which is primarily due to the lack of police presence here. The only solution is to increase police patrolling,” he added.
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