Posted on March 13, 2018

‘It Keeps Snowballing’: Violence Mars Melbourne Festival

Luke Mortimer, Nine Network, March 12, 2018

A Current Affair was at the scene of a series of terrifying incidents involving youths that left visitors to Melbourne running for safety.

More than a thousand youths, many of African appearance, arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning to hold a huge street party where a series of violent incidences unfolded.

Victorian police downplayed the violence at the Moomba Festival, but A Current Affair filmed several violent arrests on the city’s streets.

“What we saw on the weekend is we have a strong police presence in the CBD, they do a great job in ensuring community safety,” top Victorian cop Commander Russell Barrett said.

But federal politician and former cop Jason Woods said the criticism of police in dealing with Sudanese crime has left them feeling they can’t do their job.

“I’m hearing from my former colleagues in Victoria Police that there is an issue and it comes to underreporting when it comes to incidents of the South Sudanese community, or in fact police are being reluctant to make arrests because they’re concerned about allegations being made against them,” Mr Woods said.

Police interceded with youths on the tram.A Current Affair filmed several acts of violence on the streets.

“It just keeps snowballing along and … it becomes normal if they’re not being arrested.”

In one stunning clip, a group of women who launched an attack on another woman were left to roam free, despite police intervening with mace.

But Commander Barrett said accusations police are letting a certain group off the hook is completely not true.

“That’s just not correct, so police have attended, police have dealt with the incident and from what I see have dealt with it in the same way they deal with any incident on any night on the streets of Melbourne,” he told A Current Affair.

The report shows sporadic violence plaguing the city’s busy Swanston St as police work endlessly to regain control.

One shocking video shows visitors running for safety as dozens of African youths run from a tram at Bourke St.