CBD residents have sounded the alarm after a recent wave of attacks in the city raised concerns about community safety.
Residents’ 3000 president Rafael Camillo has renewed calls for more police to conduct foot patrols in the streets after four cases of serious assault, including a stabbing, took place in March.
“For a long time, security has been an issue and it has an impact on residents, workers and visitors. More importantly, visitors because they can be traumatized and will not return,” he said.
“The presence of the police is very, very important.”
In the latest incident, a 57-year-old man was allegedly assaulted after leaving a function on Swanston St around noon. 22.30 on 2 March.
Police said the victim, a man from Richmond, was taken to hospital with serious facial injuries after a man allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing him to fall to the ground unconscious and again assaulted while lying on the ground.
On March 12, a man was stabbed in Federation Square around 11.40pm with a group of young people aged 14 to 17 questioned by police.
Two men were also charged with murder after a fatal stabbing in Bourke St, Docklands in the early hours of March 13th.
In another separate incident, a resident of the CBD was “assaulted completely unexpectedly” while walking home around noon. 21.20 on 17 February. The man was allegedly punched in the face with his legs also injured. His wife, with whom he was at the time, said “we were quite shaken.”
East Enders President, Dr. Stan Capp, said he was also concerned about the increase in incidents and believed that a summit involving all key stakeholders, including residents, should be convened to “find solutions to these problems”.
“Every resident deserves to feel safe at all times in the CBD, and residents need to be consulted about their lived experiences and suggested solutions,” he said.
When we discuss issues of great importance to the residents, safety and security is always one of the first points raised.
Dr. Capp said the establishment of a safety and security committee, as seen in neighboring Southbank, would be a useful initiative for the CBD.
The issue of security was recently discussed at a community meeting, where Melbourne CEO Justin Hanney said that when working with police to increase the number of foot patrols, it reduced the number of Triple 0 calls by around 25 to 30 per cent ( read more on pages 8 and 9).
A spokeswoman for Victoria Police said police were obliged to keep the community safe.
“It is too early to say whether there is an upward trend in antisocial or criminal behavior in the city based on a weekend, but it is common sense to expect more reports of incidents with more people out in the community,” the spokesman said.
“We understand how confrontational it can be to witness this activity and the broader impact it can have on how safe people feel.”
“That’s why we continue to assess intelligence and run ongoing operations in the city with resources allocated accordingly where they are most needed – whether it’s a major event, a public transport hub or a nightlife area. . “
“Uniform police are supported by the Public Order Response Team, Mounted Branch, Dog Squad, Highway Patrol, Transit Police and PSOs to regularly patrol the city in an effort to prevent crime and antisocial behavior.”
The spokesman added that police also used CCTV to monitor areas and prevent incidents from escalating.
The series of assaults comes as data from The Alfred Hospital shows that the number of stab wounds it had treated had increased 50 percent compared to December, January and February a year ago •