African youths throw rocks at police as authorities say there was ‘no threat to safety’ 

Terrified Melbourne residents have accused police of ‘having their heads in the sand’ after a gang of 100 African youths wreaked havoc through the city’s north-west.  

Locals were told to ‘stay inside and lock their doors’ after the out-of-control group gathered in Taylors Hill at about 5.30pm on Wednesday. 

Officers were pelted with rocks as heavily-armed riot police wearing bullet-proof vests swarmed the area. 

Roads were closed and traffic was diverted, with residents told the gang was there ‘for war’.

Despite the warnings, Victoria Police insisted there was ‘no threat to community safety’. 

Terrified Melbourne residents have accused police of 'having their heads in the sand' after a gang of 100 African youths wreaked havoc through the city's north-west

Terrified Melbourne residents have accused police of 'having their heads in the sand' after a gang of 100 African youths wreaked havoc through the city's north-west

Terrified Melbourne residents have accused police of ‘having their heads in the sand’ after a gang of 100 African youths wreaked havoc through the city’s north-west

Riot police were deployed and officers were pelted with rocks, with residents told the gang was there 'for war'

Riot police were deployed and officers were pelted with rocks, with residents told the gang was there 'for war'

Riot police were deployed and officers were pelted with rocks, with residents told the gang was there ‘for war’

‘My teens were at home alone and I get a call to rush home because they can hear helicopters and sirens and groups running and are scared,’ one local wrote online. 

‘Don’t tell me that this country is safe, because I don’t recall ever feeling as frightened as my kids did today. Enough is enough.’

Another said: ‘Residents told to stay indoors, but nah no threat to community safety,’ while a third noted: ‘Seriously don’t insult our intelligence.’

‘Just so everyone knows we don’t have an African gang problem in Victoria,’ yet another wrote. 

Shattered glass is seen at a bus stop in Taylors Hill after a gang of youths gathered in the area on Wednesday night

Shattered glass is seen at a bus stop in Taylors Hill after a gang of youths gathered in the area on Wednesday night

Shattered glass is seen at a bus stop in Taylors Hill after a gang of youths gathered in the area on Wednesday night

Residents said the gang included children as young as 12 and some were carrying their school backpacks. 

‘I heard some kids coming down… and I looked out the window and I heard another lot and the next thing I knew there was sirens. Blue and red sirens,’ one woman told The Age.

‘The [police] dogs were out there, that was a bit later on, it just got full on. My neighbour on the corner said they were throwing rocks at her fence.’ 

The woman’s husband said the once peaceful area had been troublesome for the past two years. 

One local said the once peaceful area had been troublesome for the past two years

One local said the once peaceful area had been troublesome for the past two years

One local said the once peaceful area had been troublesome for the past two years

Victoria Police said rocks were thrown at officers and a police vehicle was damaged

Victoria Police said rocks were thrown at officers and a police vehicle was damaged

Victoria Police said rocks were thrown at officers and a police vehicle was damaged

‘We’ve been here nine years and this is the worst yet… You build a nice house in a nice area… you don’t want to start seeing things like that, where is it coming from?’ he questioned.

Others said police had warned the situation was not under control. 

‘In one area, there is a massive group the police said were Sudanese… there was another really large group of Sudanese and they basically said they don’t have it under control but there is a strong police presence,’ they told the Herald Sun. 

‘They told me to stay inside, lock the doors and yeah, it’s scary, I’ve got a nine-year-old and an 11-year-old, and they’re scared.’ 

'Just so everyone knows we don't have an African gang problem in Victoria,' were among the online comments 

'Just so everyone knows we don't have an African gang problem in Victoria,' were among the online comments 

‘Just so everyone knows we don’t have an African gang problem in Victoria,’ were among the online comments 

Locals were told to 'stay inside and lock their doors' when the out-of-control group gathered in Taylors Hill at about 5.30pm on Wednesday

Locals were told to 'stay inside and lock their doors' when the out-of-control group gathered in Taylors Hill at about 5.30pm on Wednesday

Locals were told to ‘stay inside and lock their doors’ when the out-of-control group gathered in Taylors Hill at about 5.30pm on Wednesday

In a statement, Victoria Police said rocks were thrown at officers and a police vehicle was damaged.   

‘Police continued to patrol the area and monitor the situation as the youths dispersed and were moved on from the area a short time later,’ they said. 

‘A number of specialist units were utilised including the Operations Response Unit and the Public Order Response Team to ensure public safety.

‘Apart from damage to the police vehicle there were no further issues, no injuries and no threat to community safety.’ 

There were no arrests.  

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.  

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