Melbourne, June 10 (ANI): Melbourne police will saturate western suburbs train stations to combat robberies targeting Indian students, even as Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Victoria Premier John Brumby issued an appeal for community calm.
Victoria’s Chief Police Commissioner Simon Overland said police would target Sunshine, St Albans and Thomastown train stations.
It follows a spate of high profile robberies against Indian students in the region.
The Herald Sun quoted Overland as saying that it was unfortunate that international students, particularly Indian students, had been caught up in the broader issue of street robberies.
Overland said the operation would not combat street violence, which would only move elsewhere. He said police would monitor the impact of the blitz and relocate resources as required.
Uniform police, Transit members, the Dog Squad, Mounted Branch and Air-Wing will patrol in and around the stations in addition to traffic operations members and booze buses.
Police will also focus resources to the Clayton and Dandenong areas to crack down on street crime.
Overland hoped the new measures would send a strong message to offenders that their actions will not be tolerated.
Premier John Brumby said targeted policing had proven effective in combating alcohol-fuelled violence in the CBD.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has warned against vigilante action and called for calm.
Rudd said Australia was one of the safest countries in the world for international students.
“This is one of the safest countries in the world for international students. It’s unacceptable for anyone to commit an act of violence against any student of any ethnicity anywhere in Australia. I fully support hardline measures in response to any act of violence towards any student anywhere – Indian or otherwise,” Rudd said.
His comments come after Indian students in Melbourne formed their own groups to escort their countrymen and women home from trouble spot railway stations while in Sydney’s west, students have taken to the streets for a second night in protest after attacks they claim are racially motivated. (ANI)