Not a smidgen of a problem. Its the media that makes them commit crimes, and the house owners who rent their houses out with AirB&B are also to blame.
South Sudanese leader Ring Mayar attacks media over youth crime
Melbourne’s Airbnb owners and media are partly to blame for the wave of youth crime linked to African-Australian youths, the city’s leading South Sudanese figure says.
Ring Mayar became chairman of the South Sudanese Community Association of Victoria in May, the peak body in the state, and works on the frontlines trying to get young kids away from crime.
Youths of African appearance have been involved in a series of parties held at short-term rental properties over the past few months that saw properties trashed, neighbours assaulted and police targeted.
But Mr Mayar said the owners of “Airbnb party houses” had to take “some of the burden” for parties that had gone out of control.
“The responsibility does not fall squarely on those young people. Even the owners of those houses share their burden as well,” he said.
“What are the contracts in place, if I may ask the house owners, and how are they leasing these houses to the young people who may come with unruly behaviour?
“Are they aware that when they rent houses to those kids, and there are so many of them, that there’ll be problems?”
When Mr Mayar took over the SSCAV he promised a fresh approach to youth crime. He said the community acknowledged it had a problem with youth offending.
His group is trying to tackle the problem through education programs on Australia’s legal system, and by directly working with offenders when they get out of juvenile detention.
“We have been conducting seminars spreading awareness and educating young people about laws … we have also managed to partner with Victoria Police and other nonprofits to run programs for young people.”
But the state appears trapped in a loop of violence. In the past week alone, three young men have been bashed and their attackers described as youths of African appearance by police.
Mr Mayar said his community did not have a “youth gang problem”.
“The statistics indicate that there are no gang crimes with the South Sudanese or any other group. It’s just the media which does that often (says there are gangs),” he said.
He also accused the media of unfair reporting, which he said was leading to increased homelessness and youth unemployment in his community.
“Stereotypes and discrimination become the forefront of reporting, therefore young people are unsettled in schools, some of them become homeless … this is the ripple effect of unfair reporting.”
The SSCAV has taken particular aim at a segment on the Seven Network’s Sunday Night program a week ago, which covered “African gangs” in Melbourne. Mr Mayar also said the media were disregarding the nation’s anti-racial discrimination laws.
“That’s a question I’m afraid I won’t be able to answer (on whether he would pursue action over such laws), but I can talk of the anti-discrimination act,” he said.
“The overwhelming feeling of the community is that the mainstream media is not really following the law of this country. That’s how we feel about it.”
Mr Mayar took over after a difficult few months for the SSCAV.
Then-spokesman Richard Deng told a union-backed rally in February that Malcolm Turnbull should “go back to where he came from”. Mr Deng and then-SSCAV chairman Kot Manohah were later revealed to have publicly supported the Labor Party in a series of online posts. They have both since stood down.
“What the gentleman (Mr Deng) said about the sitting Prime Minister is not something that I would condone,” he said, “Malcolm Turnbull is our leader. … I would like to apologise.
“Whoever comes to power, we will work with them. We don’t favour any political party.”