Melbourne, Jan.20 (ANI): Australia's peak police council under-rated the attacks on Indian students in the country, according to Freedom of Information (FOI) advice.
Mark Briskey, the head of the Australian Graduate School of Policing at Charles Sturt University, said the attacks were not discussed at the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management in the 17 months to last November.
Nor were the attacks discussed by the supporting Senior Officers Group, despite strong warnings from the Chinese, Indian and Indonesian embassies about the safety of their student nationals from as early as 2008.
According to The Australian, regular police meetings were held late in 2008 and as recently as June last year, at the height of the student unrest and as Kevin Rudd was calling for calm, amid talk of vigilante groups of Indian students protecting fellow nationals.
Briskey described this as highly unusual and added that it shows a failure to address this in a more urgent manner.
A spokesman for Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said the Police Ministers Council did not meet specifically on the attacks "as the issue was the subject of a special taskforce established by the Prime Minister".
State and territory police agencies attended meetings of the Prime Minister's taskforce, which met regularly for six weeks from June 2 last year, the spokesman added.
Briskey, a transnational crime expert who used to be a senior investigator with the Australian Federal Police, also called for more co-ordinated action to deal with visa fraud.
He said Australia and India should jointly investigate criminal elements involved in visa and document fraud to better protect overseas students. (ANI)