Melbourne, Mar 16(ANI): Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland has defended his officers after a report accused the force of racially discriminating against African youth.
A Springvale Monash Legal Service report claimed that police officers labeled young African men as "monkey" and "black c***", took photographs of them gathered on the streets for intelligence purposes and, in one case, took off their uniforms to bash black men in a public park.
Overland also vowed that if the bashing allegations were true, those involved would be investigated and charged.
"If that's happened, it's criminal and if we find evidence of that I would expect that officer or those officers to be charged," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Overland, as saying.
"Racist attitudes held by members of Victoria Police - that is not OK. Acting on those racial attitudes is clearly not OK and where we find it people can expect that I will deal with them in the strongest possible terms," he added.
Overland further said his message that racism was unacceptable was getting through to most officers.
"The vast majority of my staff actually understands that message all too well and in fact not only understand it, they are not racist. They absolutely understand their responsibilities to the community," he said.
However, Springvale Monash Legal Service director Helen Yandell said racism was entrenched in the force.
"There is a culture (of racism) in Victoria Police," Helen said.
"We can't say it's a few isolated bad cops when we're talking about across three major regions across Melbourne (Flemington, Dandenong and Braybrook) and communities that are quite widespread," she added. (ANI)