Friday, January 05, 2018

'They don't belong in Australian society': Peter Dutton says violent African criminals who refuse to integrate should be deported from the country

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton wants African youth to be deported if they are convicted of violent crime following a spate of thuggery in Melbourne.

The senior cabinet minister, who will soon head a new super Home Affairs department, was asked about Liberal backbencher Jason Wood's call to deport youth gang members convicted of serious assault, home invasion and carjackings.

'Frankly, they don't belong in Australian society,' Mr Dutton told Sydney radio station 2GB on Wednesday.

'If people haven't integrated, if they're not abiding by our laws, if they're not adhering to our culture, then they're not welcome here.'

Mr Dutton, who hails from the right of the Liberal Party, also criticised Victoria's Labor Police Minister Lisa Neville who last week denied the strong link between gangs and African youths.

'The reality is, people are scared to go out to restaurants of a night-time because they're followed home by these gangs,' he said.

'We just need to call it for what it is. Of course it's African gang violence.

'We need to weed out the people who have done the wrong thing, deport them where we can but where they're Australian citizens, need to deal with them according to the law.'

Last week, Menace to Society gang members trashed the Ecoville Community Park at Tarneit, in Melbourne's west, by destroying furniture, windows and walls and leaving bongs.

Only days before Christmas, 'MTS' graffiti was also scrawled on an AirBnB party house at Werribee, also in Melbourne's west.

Rocks were also pelted at police forcing them to retreat from the house, when more than 100 youths of primarily South Sudanese appearance turned on them.

On Boxing Day, a police officer was kicked in the face when he tried to arrest a 16-year boy at the Highpoint Shopping Centre at Maribyrnong.

In June, a man was struck in the head with a tomahawk when a gang of 15 men burst into a barber shop at nearby Footscray and started brawling.  


Federal Labor has heads in sand over Sudanese gangs

Federal Labor has come under fire for denying that Melbourne has an escalating gang problem and blocking attempts to deport migrants and refugees convicted of violent offences, following Victoria Police’s admission that the state has an issue with African street gangs.

Amid a political storm over law and order in the state, the party’s immigration and ­border protection spokesman Shayne Neumann yesterday stood by Labor’s dissenting ­report to the recent migrant settlement outcomes inquiry in which it claimed there had been “minimal or no evidence” for a focus on “young humanitarian entrants from Sudanese backgrounds who engage in criminal activity”.

The report, signed by Mr Neumann and fellow Labor MPs Maria Vamvakinou and Steve Georganas and released on ­December 11, argued that the inquiry, chaired by Liberal MP and former police officer Jason Wood, had been hijacked to highlight issues specifically ­affecting Mr Wood’s own Melbourne electorate, “such as the Apex gang, which the Victoria Police ­described as a nonentity”.

The dismissive comments, which come in the wake of a fresh outbreak of vandalism, ­violent assaults and rioting across Melbourne, many involving young Africans, were criticised yesterday by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who ­accused Labor of “running the other way” on the issue.

“People are scared to go out to restaurants of a night time because they are worried about being followed by these gangs,” Mr Dutton said.

“(Premier) Daniel Andrews and Bill Shorten are as bad as each other on law and order ­issues: Andrews refuses to even acknowledge Victoria has African crime gangs and Bill Shorten votes against tougher laws in the federal parliament. Labor is soft on law and order. They always have been.

“People are getting hurt in Victoria and Premier Andrews doesn’t have the answers or the leadership to sort it out. He is scared to deal with the problem or it is just plain incompetence.”

Victoria-based federal Health Minister Greg Hunt also hit out at Labor for denying the problem. “It’s the No 1 issue in Victoria,” he told 2GB radio. “Now Victoria Police acknowledge it. Frankly the answer is simple … tougher sentencing, tougher bail laws and better ­resources for police and calling it for what it is.”

Concerns over African crime emerged almost two years ago with the Apex gang, a group of youths from Melbourne’s outer east. The gang has also been linked to a rise in aggravated burglaries and carjackings.

The extent of the issue, however, has been subject to much debate. While Victoria Police has long insisted that recent violent ­attacks were not gang-related, acting chief commissioner Shane Patton acknowledged the issue earlier this week. “There is an issue with over-representation by African youth in serious and violent offending as well as public disorder issues,” he said on Tuesday.

“They’re behaving like street gangs, so let’s call them that.”

The migrant settlement outcomes report, released last month, recommended cracking down on visa holders found to have committed violent crimes. That included a recommendation to amend the Migration Act requiring the mandatory cancellation of visas for offenders aged between 16 and 18 years convicted of a serious offence.

Labor members dissented, ­arguing that “migrant youth and newly arrived migrants are not ­involved in criminal activity, with less than 10 per cent being overseas-born offenders”.

“Labor members were concerned with the focus in the report on youth crime which incorrectly implied that there is a serious crime wave by migrant youth across the nation,” the report says. “Anecdotal evidence of youth crime and ethnic gang activity was received from a small amount of geographically aligned submitters, based in Victoria only.

“The inquiry received no evidence from victims of crime in Victoria ... Labor members acknow­ledge the chair’s determination throughout the inquiry to target minors and his persistent questioning on perceived gangs.”

Committee chairman Mr Wood yesterday accused the Labor members of “cherrypicking” data to justify their position and ignoring the evidence of the Crime Statistics Agency, which produced statistics showing the number of Sudanese-born unique offenders had risen substantially in the past three years. In 2016, there were more than 800 offenders from Sudan, including 132 ­minors, up from 632 in 2014.

“If we can’t admit to this problem, we can’t do anything to fix it,” he said.

Mr Dutton said federal Labor remained weak on immigration and law-and-order issues. “The Turnbull government has cancelled a record number of visas and we are trying to get tougher on criminals but Shayne Neumann doesn’t have a clue.”

A spokesman for Mr Neumann said: “The migration committee report ... was informed by evidence presented to that committee from security agencies, including Victoria Police. Victoria Police testified at the time that Apex was a nonentity.”

Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek declined to comment on the report.


Send a few to jail — the others will get the message

African crime gangs out of control? The solution is simple. Apply the law to African youth gangs and encourage proper sentencing.

African youths, when faced with harsh punishment — any punishment — will cease breaking the law. It’s a simple application of the old law-and-order position: lock a few of them up now and the rest will cease their criminal behaviour.

These young people are certainly behaving in an unacceptable manner and eventually someone will be killed. The problem they have raised for Victorians is that there is little the government can do about it within the existing framework. The whole criminal justice system is weak and underfunded, and youths — male and female, black and white — are happily exploiting the situation.

A number of African youths have seen this problem and taken advantage of it. They realise that if they stay within the Children’s Court system they will be released and counselled rather than be locked up.

Victoria’s inadequate laws mean there is no deterrence to any underage teenagers committing serious crimes. Maximum penalties are sufficient but are never imposed on children, whatever their colour might be. The African gangs know this and if there is no enforcement of penalties by the law they will not be deterred.

How does the community fight back? Rest assured, existing criminal laws and legislated punishments are adequate (if enforced in the courts) so there is no point in legislative change. Bail laws are adequate to lock them up to protect the community, but neither are these enforced.

The federal government (which deported the father of AFL star Dustin Martin) will not send criminals back to Africa. In any case they will almost all be Australian citizens and Australian citizenship is very rarely revoked, and only in extreme circumstances. They will remain in Australia and we must deal with them as part of our society.

Victoria has a major policing problem. The police force is drifting and lacks leadership. Victorians do not have an active chief commissioner. The incumbent is about to resign and in any case is away from the job on extended leave. A good solution would be for the state government to appoint a new commissioner now — someone who will lead the state by tough police enforcement of the law, particularly in relation to the Africans and all gang crime.

We are now seeing a race-based storm in some of the media, but this is merely filling the vacuum left by the state government and their toothless police force. The black Africans are highly visible. Young whites are committing the same crimes all the time but receive little media attention.

White societies such as ours are quick to seize on visible crime by blacks. That was the situation I saw in Alice Springs in the early 1970s when I worked there as a lawyer for the Aboriginal people. They were black and on the streets because they had no homes. That was seen as a threat to white society. In fact the whites were just as drunk and violent but they were not visible as they had homes. White racism was easy when the targets were poor and visible.

Today in Victoria the African youths are extremely visible. I am 188cm but the young teenagers tower above me and no doubt terrify citizens when committing close-up crimes such as assault and robbery, carjacking and home invasion. Gangs make them a greater threat as marauding young black criminals in respectable white neighbourhoods.

The other day I was in the local chemist shop (over the road from the police station) when a huge African teenager walked in and looked around. He did nothing wrong. Immediately an alarm sounded and a voice across the system informed us all that there was an emergency. The youth ran from the shop.

This is not how I want to live, as a citizen or as a lawyer.

It really does remind me of Alice Springs, where one day the lead item on radio news was: “There was no Aboriginal crime overnight.”

Society pays a lot of money to have a police force. And this issue is also a policing problem. Let the police do their job. Let them crack down hard on the active black African criminals without the police being called racist. The media should expose the lack of effective punishment in the Children’s Court and show how the Africans — and others — have been exploiting this to the hilt (and further).

If that court feels the pressure from the media in particular and society in general then it will take a tougher stand towards all young criminals. African youth gangs are a short-term danger but not a long-term problem. The police and courts must come down hard on them and create a deterrent effect which has, so far, been sadly missing.


Attorney General law change would help free those wrongfully convicted

IN the legal profession it’s generally accepted that the rate of wrongful convictions runs about 1 or 2 per cent.

On the face of it, that’s not a bad success rate. You’d like a betting system that regularly guaranteed a 98 per cent success rate. Or a cure for cancer that had the same prospects.

But when it’s your life and freedom that’s in the balance, it’s a statistic that’s probably not that comforting. If there was a 2 per cent chance that every flight you took was only that safe, you would be seriously concerned.

And on a prison population in WA of about 5000, it means that something like 50 to 100 people go to bed each night in jail knowing they were never guilty of their alleged crime. The 98 per cent confidence figure is cold comfort for them.

Sure, there are appeals. But they are usually only as good as the evidence given at the time of the original trial. Statistically, very few appeals against conviction (less than 5 per cent) are ever successful.

The trial and appeal process in Australia takes place reasonably quickly. It’s not surprising that sometimes fresh evidence not known of at the time of the original conviction may not emerge for years, perhaps decades.

But what happens when compelling evidence does emerge years later, after you have exhausted your rights of appeal, which casts serious doubt on your conviction? As occurred in well-documented cases such as Andrew Mallard and Lindy Chamberlain. How many matinee jackets might there be out there?

It would be re-assuring to know that you could go straight to the Court of Appeal and ask them to have another look. Unfortunately it’s not that simple.

The right to have the case looked at again presently rests exclusively in the hands of one person, the Attorney-General. If you can’t persuade him that the case is worth another look, then that’s it. Finito.

For some years now there has been a growing disquiet about this process. Having a politician as the ultimate gatekeeper of whether a court can re-evaluate the fresh evidence in your case is fraught with unfairness.

First, because the Attorney-General is someone who has to be re-elected and the perception of being on the side of a convicted murderer is hardly likely to be an attractive one. Second, there is no review or appeal of the decision if it doesn’t go your way.

In South Australia and Tasmania, new legislation has solved this problem and taken the politicians out of the equation.

Where a convicted murderer (or anyone convicted of a serious offence) claims to have fresh and compelling evidence of their innocence, they can now go straight to the court. In South Australia there have already been three homicide cases where this has happened and two of them have resulted in acquittals. The third is still on appeal.

The benefit of this approach is obvious. If the new evidence is truly compelling, justice will be done and the accused will be exonerated. If not, the issue will be put to bed forever, rather than lingering in the public domain. The system will be vindicated and the conviction confirmed.

The primary advantage, however, is that the decision will be made openly, according to law, by impartial judges, unaffected by any suggestion that political or populist considerations were involved.

I’m told that this sort of legislation is being drafted in WA, and if so it is long overdue.

I know a number of prisoners who have already had their fresh evidence applications to (previous) attorneys-general refused, but who will be looking forward to having their day in court. All are quite disturbing cases. One of the most disturbing is that of Arthur Greer.

He was convicted 24 years ago of the murder of Sharon Mason, years after the event itself, on the most flimsy circumstantial evidence. No one saw him do it, there is no confessional evidence, no motive and no forensic evidence whatever linking him in any way to the death.

How he was ever convicted in the first place is a mystery to everyone I have spoken to who has been involved in the case.

I hold no brief for Greer, but like a number of senior Perth lawyers I have recently been privy to details of the fresh evidence in the case, which leaves me in no doubt that the original prosecution was misconceived and wrong.

If the material I have seen is even partially correct, evidence the original jury never saw, Greer’s involvement in the murder at any level is all but impossible. He deserves to have this evidence considered by a court of three appeal judges, not a politician.

The present Attorney-General, John Quigley, should be commended for his initiative in proposing the legislation that will make this possible.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

And if they do hold Australian citizenship? Revoke it and throw them out. They are easy to sort, they are colour-coded. If they are Black they must go back.