Harris Park violence ‘going on for years’


Street thugs in Harris Park, in Sydney’s west, were violently attacking elderly white women for a number of years before shifting their focus to Indians, says a NSW politician who raised the problem of violence in the suburb in State Parliament two years ago. Gordon Moyes, a member of the NSW upper house, said he understood Indian students’ rage at being “picked on”, but believed the problem of street crime in Harris Park had gone unaddressed for years. “I found that over a period of time many elderly Anglo-Saxon women were attacked and robbed and had their purses snatched and phones stolen,the attacks were mainly carried out by young Middle-Eastern men.”  It was mainly street crime but it was street crime with threats, they were very aggressive. And there were concerns that police weren’t around at the time when they were needed. What has happened over the last few years is that a number of Indians students, attracted by fairly cheap accommodation, have come into the area, The target – always the soft targets – moved from elderly people walking on the street to Indian students with laptops. I think elderly ‘Anglos’ became more cautious in venturing out, and the target shifted to another group. This has been their turf for as long as they’ve been alive, and now they’ve got different people moving in – there’s a bit of assertion on street areas. I can understand the rage that has built up, and the way groups of them have decided to come together to protest. Any time any group in the community feels like they are being picked on, whether it’s elderly pensioners or young Indian students – and feel no one is doing anything about it – they are going to get angry. I’ve also got a great deal of sympathy for police, who can’t be everywhere at the same time. They are an easy group to blame.” he said.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research says there has been no recorded increase in assault crimes in Harris Park in the past two years, but many incidents went unreported. “Somewhere around 70 per cent [of assaults] don’t get reported to the police,” bureau director Don Weatherburn told the ABC.