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Connecting people & communities CRANBOURNE Thursday, 2 March, 2017

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■ Ethnic crime data slammed as racial profiling...

Race to cut crime Now they can see they’re in a hot spot Captain Andrew Swain and other members of the Devon Meadows CFA Leeann Lees, Jake Pringle, Rachel Ahchow, Shaun Adams, Peter Van de Laarschot, Phil Brentnall, Jasmine Mace and Carly Damman are celebrating this week. Their brigade has received $11,500 in funding from the State Government to purchase a thermal imaging camera. The Devon Meadows crew applied for the grant money through the Government’s Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability Grants before Christmas and found out in February that it had been successful. “This is the first TIC the brigade has ever had so that’s over our 70-year history,” Captain Andrew Swain said. “Obviously, this piece of equipment in this day and age is very important as we are getting more built up in the suburbs from Cranbourne.” The camera will be used by the brigade to detect fire hot spots that are not detectable by the human eye so firefighters can concentrate their efforts on making sure the fire is properly extinguished. 165301

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The City of Casey Council will use data on the cultural and ethnic backgrounds of alleged criminals in the Casey area for a submission to a parliamentary committee in a move some have called racial profiling. The plan was raised by Casey mayor Sam Aziz and seconded by Councillor Rosalie Crestani at a council meeting on Tuesday 21 February with only Cr Steve Beardon dissenting to the idea. The data will be used as the basis of a written submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration and will focus on the cultural background of alleged criminals in Casey. Cr Aziz said the submission would include details of social programs council runs to help multicultural youth in the community as well as the cultural demographics of alleged criminals. “It will also include any community safety statistics that are given to council by police, which would demonstrate the demographics of criminal activity in the municipality, including crimes perpetrated by CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) communities.” However, AMES Australia which provides settlement support programs to people in the southeast has said singling out particular ethnic groups would not help fight crime. “It can have a negative effect on social cohesion within our communities and it can victimise and isolate particular groups of people,” an AMES spokesperson said. “If there is an issue with disengaged youth, perhaps we should be

looking at the reasons behind that and trying to find ways to provide opportunity and meaningful engagement for young people.” “Simply blaming particular groups of people is not a solution.” Cr Aziz said he wasn’t worried about his motion and subsequent submission causing offence to anyone and thought it was wrong to deny it if one section of the community were the cause of criminal activity. “I still support a deportation rule for dual citizens for kicking Australia in the face by coming here and committing these crimes,” he said. “I am sorry for many residents who were subjected to home invasions and suffered insecurity in their own homes and this is an opportunity for us as the largest city in Victoria to shake up the agenda and contribute to Federal Parliament.” Cr Steve Beardon said he was concerned with the flow-on effects of such a submission. “Focusing on the demographics of criminal activity has me concerned along the lines of cultural profiling which I see as a major concern in my community,” he said. “That may not be the intent of this motion but I cannot support it.” La Trobe MP Jason Wood is chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration and said there needed to be a comprehensive investigation into who was committing crimes in the region. “Everyone knows this is happening and we need facts and figures to support it - we can’t manage if can’t measure it,” he said. Continued page 3

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By Victoria Stone-Meadows

News - Cranbourne - 02nd March 2017  
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