This summer saw a frenzy of reports into so called ‘African gangs’. Some media outlets and politicians claimed Victoria is facing a ‘crisis’ in youth crime, so much so that it is no longer safe to eat out at restaurants. Fingers were also being pointed at the courts for being too ‘soft’. However, the State government and police rejected claims of a crisis, labelling them 'utter garbage' and unproductive. Members of the African community also warned against the harm this rhetoric causes, including discrimination and vilification.
We speak to Sajda Yakub, a Peer Advocate from the Police Accountability Project, to unpack this issue and provide us with some perspective.