Melbourne, Jan. 20 (ANI): Victoria Police had realised two years ago that crimes against Indians were prevalent in the state, the top cop of the Australian state has admitted.
"There is no question, regardless of the motives, Indian students have to a degree been targeted in robberies and that is not okay. We recognised this problem a long time before it hit the public," News.com.au quoted Police Commissioner Simon Overland, as saying.
"We have known for two years that there has been this issue and we have been working away, at a number of levels around engaging with students, trying to make them understand the risks and how they keep themselves safe," he added.
Overland said police had detailed data on attacks involving Indians and said that while Indians were over-represented when it came to robberies, the same could not be said for assaults.
About 50 per cent of assaults on Indians occurred in their workplace, mostly involving taxi drivers and convenience store clerks, he said.
Overland also acknowledged that some of the attacks were racist.
"I have said from day one undoubtedly some of these attacks have a racist motive or there is racist elements to these attacks," he said.
"Regardless of who they are, what they are, what colour they are, what occupation they are, my job is to make the state as safe as I can for everyone," he added.
The comments come after a number of attacks on Indians, including the stabbing murder of student Nitin Garg in Melbourne earlier this month.
In the latest incident, an Indian taxi driver was bashed in Reservoir, north Melbourne, on Saturday. However, police said that this attack was not racially motivated. (ANI)