Fears our crime being imported
* Somali Community of Victoria president Abdurahman Osman says the Somali community is peaceful and is working with police to resolve crime issues. (ya think?)
“Let us have our drugs, or else..!”
*Â “If khat is banned then men in our community will go to alcohol or hard drugs or something worse than khat,” says Abdurahman Osman, president of the Somali Community of Victoria.
The Multiculti Madness Continues:
PEOPLE born overseas committed one in seven of crimes in Victoria last financial year, including a quarter of rapes and one in five murders.
Exclusive police statistics also show immigrants were behind a quarter of robberies, a fifth of sex assaults, abductions and kidnappings, and 3792 assaults.
But the 2006 Census shows that 1.17 million people, or 26 per cent of Victoria’s population, were born overseas.
The anatomy of crime in Victoria, obtained by theÂ Sunday Herald Sun, shows those born in Somalia, Lebanon and New Zealand had the highest crime-per-population rates in Victoria.
They are followed by Turkish, Vietnamese and then Australian-born criminals.
An analysis of the police statistics and 2006 Census figures shows on average one in nine Victorians born in Somalia committed a crime in the state last year.
One in 20 Lebanon-born Victorians were offenders compared with one in 31 born in Australia.
The revelations have sparked calls from crime victims for tougher deportation and screening of immigrants.
The Rudd Government will scrap its predecessor’s plan to slow African immigration.
The detailed crime profiles also show students under 18 are more likely to commit crime than their unemployed counterparts and housewives are more likely to offend than factory workers.
It also reveals:
MURDERS, rapes, sex attacks, robberies and assaults all rose last financial year in the policing region covering the inner city.
DANDENONG, Werribee and Sunshine were among the most crime-affected suburbs.
SINGLE people committed the most crimes last year, followed by married people, those in de facto relationships and divorcees.
MOST crimes occurred in houses, followed by on the street, then in educational facilities and on public transport or at retail locations.
THEFT, arson and deception offences robbed Victorians of property worth $472,271,476.
ASSAULTS and property damage offences were highest early on Saturday and Sunday mornings, while burglaries were more frequent mid-week.
The Crimes Victims Support Association has called for migrant groups committing less crime to be favoured over “high crime” nationalities.
Spokesman Noel McNamara said migrants should be deported on their first offence and there should be a cooling-off period for citizenship.
“We should be much stricter on who we bring in,” Mr McNamara said.
“They’re not really screened properly. They’re brought in just to make up the numbers.”
Somali Community of Victoria president Abdurahman Osman said the Somali community was peaceful and working with police to resolve crime problems.
“We met with the (Chief) Commissioner last month,” Mr Osman said.
“We were talking about how to minimise all African problems in Victoria and make friends between African youth and the police in order to solve misunderstandings.”
Federal Immigration and Citizenship minister Senator Chris Evans said specific immigrant groups would not face caps or discrimination.
“All immigrants face challenges when settling in a new country, especially refugees because of the trauma they have been through,” he said.
“Migrants from Africa will successfully settle in Australia just as previous waves of immigrants from different backgrounds have done.”
Senator Evans said the Government planned to streamline job services for new migrants to improve their prospects and prevent them turning to crime.
Somali women demand government action on legal drug
IT is a drug that cost Fartun Farah her marriage and one she says is fuelling domestic violence across the nation’s African community.
But what makes her story unusual is that the drug in question, khat, is legal in Australia despite being banned in other countries such as the US, Canada and New Zealand.
Now Ms Farah and a group of Somali women in Melbourne are taking on the men in their own community by pushing for Australia to also ban khat — an African shrub that is chewed for amphetamine-like effect — saying it is destroying the social fabric of African communities.
“Each month, we see women walking into our centre saying khat is destroying their family,” says Ms Farah, who heads the East African Women’s Foundation in Melbourne.
But the push to ban khat has pitted this group of women against many men inside the patriarchal Somali community who use khat widely and claim it is a part of their cultural identity.
“If khat is banned then men in our community will go to alcohol or hard drugs or something worse than khat,” says Abdurahman Osman, president of the Somali Community of Victoria.
Khat is a shrub grown in mountainous regions of East Africa that when chewed, has narcotic and hallucinogenic effects. Users can become hyperactive, over-excited, anxious and, in extreme cases, violent.
Under Australia law, users can import up to 5kg of khat per person per month for personal use with a licence to import.
As the African community has grown, so has the use of khat, which is flown in from Ethiopia and Kenya and sells at about $20 per small bag. “This has become a huge issue and a very divisive one within the community,” says Somali imam Isse Musse.
Ms Farah, a mother of five, blames khat for the breakdown of her marriage. “He chewed it all night, then was too tired to go to work and he lost his job and would spend what little money we had on khat. My family broke up because of khat.”
Ms Farah is meeting today with senior staff of her federal member, Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner, to try to gain political support for her group’s push.
Ms Farah knows her group will face a backlash from African men for trying to ban khat, but says she does not care.
“In Somalia, this would be a man’s decision only, but here in this country, we (women) have rights and we see that this (drug) is hurting our people,” she said.