Victoria Police Statement: African Gangs

Victoria Police's official response

Victoria Police spokesperson:

We know that young people of African backgrounds are overly represented in some high-harm crimes, and police and African-Australian communities are working extremely hard to deal with the issue.

Nonetheless, people from African backgrounds only represent a small portion of offenders in our community.

The groups that have been labelled “gangs” are effectively groups of young people coming together, sometimes for one night to commit offences.

It’s not what we have traditionally called gangs. Some of these young people might only join up once and never be there again, others might be there a few times.

It may be street-gang behaviour that we are seeing and responding to, but they are not gangs in the traditional sense, which are typically more structured and organised in their offending.

Victoria Police remains focused on identifying those responsible for serious crimes – regardless of their ethnicity – and bringing them before the courts.

We also have proactive patrols and operations running in areas and at times when this offending is taking place.

We’re also working very closely with the African community to better understand the drivers of this behaviour and the underlying issues.