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Victoria Police shut down operation targeting African armed robbers due to ‘racist optics’ fears, ex-cop reveals

Krystle Mitchell African crime

Victoria Police shut down an investigation into crimes involving African offenders to avoid being seen as racist, a former officer has claimed.

Krystle Mitchell, who quit the force in 2021 in protest at having to enforce then-Premier Daniel Andrews’ draconian Covid restrictions and lockdowns, made the revelation on Friday in relation to a 7News report about an alleged Facebook Marketplace robbery by an African suspect in Melbourne.

Ms Mitchell first responded to the video by saying: “This is a pretty regular theft report – and in 90% of cases, the offenders were of the same demographics as displayed in this post.

“You can’t say we don’t have a problem with a particular sub-set of youth, when they are a minority in population, and committing the most crimes.”

An X user then asked her whether the issue of African crime was discussed among police even though they never mention it publicly.

“Yes,” Ms Mitchell replied. “We ran an operation in North Melbourne focusing on this sub-set of offenders (around 2018 if I recall), due to armed robberies. The operation got canned due to ‘optics’ that we were being racist.

“All crime data pointed to this sub-set of offenders committing the crimes.”

“That is so disheartning to hear, the fact that because of optics (aka, people’s feelings), they canned the operation. So gutless and just shows that until someone grows a set, the problem will continue and clearly has gotten worse since 2018,” the X user responded.

2018 was the last year Victoria Police reported the nationality of offenders in their crime statistics, omitting the information ever since after complaints from the African community were seized on by the state’s Labor government and the corporate press.

Krystle Mitchell African crime Victoria Police racist
Krystle Mitchell was an acting senior sergeant with 16 years of experience in the force when she quit during an interview in October 2021 (Discernable – YouTube)

At the beginning of that year even then-Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton weighed in on the issue of African crime in Melbourne, which at that time was receiving national attention.

“The Victorian public is really outraged by some of the goings on … the reality is people are scared to go out to restaurants of a night time because they’re followed home by these gangs, home invasion and cars are stolen.”

Mr Dutton also called upon the Labor government to “call it for what it is – of course it’s African gang violence”.

The then-deputy police commissioner Shane Patton, who was later promoted to Chief Commissioner during the Covid lockdowns, said at the time that the there was no African gang problem because “networked criminal offenders” were not technically “gangs”.

The crime statistics for the year ending in March 2018 showed that Sudan and South Sudan-born offenders were overrepresented in crime statistics by a factor of 10 – committing 1.1% of the offences despite being 0.1% of the Victorian population.

They also committed 3.8% of aggravated burglaries, 8.5% of aggravated robberies, 1.5% of car thefts, 1.2% of common assaults, 4.9% of riot and affray offences, 1.8% of serious assaults, and 0.7% of sexual offences in the state.

At that time Victoria was home to Australia’s largest South Sudanese population, about 9,000 people, most living in Melbourne.

In 2021, Africans, mainly South Sudanese, made up 19% of the young people in custody, while being on 0.5% of the youth population.

Ms Mitchell was an acting senior sergeant with 16 years of experience in the force when she quit during an interview in October 2021, saying that it was the best job she’d ever had until being ordered to enforce Covid restrictions and crack down on anti-vaccine mandate and anti-lockdown protests.

“Behind that is all of my friends that are police officers that are working the front line and are suffering every day enforcing CHO [Chief Health Officer] directions, that certainly the great majority don’t believe in and don’t want to enforce,” she told the Discernable Interviews while dressed in her uniform.

Noticer News contacted Victoria Police for comment.

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