Labor's Albanese blasts Dutton's African youth crime comments

Labor's Anthony Albanese has dismissed Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's African youth crime comments as part of an agenda from the Turnbull government to score political points.

Labor shadow minister Anthony Albanese has responded to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's comments that people in Melbourne were "scared" to eat at restaurants because of African youth crime.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Mr Albanese said the remarks were nothing more than an attempt at political points.

"I was in Melbourne last night. I didn't notice any reluctance of people on the streets of Melbourne to go out. And this morning I haven't seen reluctance when travelling to and from meetings here in the CBD as well," Mr Albanese said.

"I think Peter Dutton has a serious office as the Minister for Home Affairs and he needs to treat that great honour with the dignity and with the respect and gravitas that it deserves.

"And playing to the crowd on Sydney radio about Melbourne doesn't make much sense, doesn't actually do anything to address the real issues of crime that need to be addressed.

"I think Peter Dutton's comments should be seen for what they are - all about politics, obviously in conjunction with the Liberal Party in Victoria, which is obviously desperate for an issue against the Andrews government that is governing effectively here in Victoria."

Mr Albanese said the latest police figures showed a drop in crime for the first time in 12 months in Victoria and Mr Dutton's comments were not respectful of the situation.

The Labor shadow minister also hit back at claims from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was partly to blame for "growing gang violence and lawlessness".

Mr Albanese reiterated Victoria Police Acting Chief Commissioner Shane Patton's comments this week that Daniel Andrew's Government was introducing an extra 3000 police officers into the service to help prevent crime.


He also claimed the government could help address the issue by not cutting funds to new migrant services to help people in communities with high unemployment rates to find work.

Mr Albanese's address comes as Acting Premier and Member for Werribee Tim Pallas said Mr Dutton should apologise for his comments.

"I think the people of Werribee and the people of Wyndham deserve an apology from Mr Dutton. He's gone too far just to make a political point," Mr Pallas told the Nine Network.


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Published 4 January 2018 at 12:06pm, updated 4 January 2018 at 1:03pm
By Riley Morgan

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