Recruit Indians as police: councillor

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A councillor in Melbourne's culturally-diverse northern suburbs says more needs to be done to recruit local Indian police and to promote overall acceptance of immigrants.

Cr Tim Singh Laurence from the City of Darebin says the latest race-based incident, this time allegedly involving loud-mouthed skateboarders and Indian wrestlers, highlights how much work is needed before immigrants from the sub-continent can feel safe.

Indian wrestlers were allegedly racially abused and had a window of their car smashed by a skateboarder as they began leaving Meadowglen International Athletics Stadium in Epping on Sunday afternoon after taking part in the native wrestling team sport kabaddi.

This sparked a fight with two other skateboarders, who were assaulted and hit with sticks by the Indians.

While police haven't been able to confirm whether the skateboarders initially hurled racist abuse, Cr Laurence, who had been involved in medal presentations at the tournament, confirmed the Indians had been told to "f*** off you black c***".

He said it was time to encourage Indians to join the police force in a bid to provide a better understanding of the pressures and difficulties they faced as immigrants.

"We could get Sikh police from Malaysia tomorrow," Cr Laurence told AAP on Monday.

"One of the things that was issued early on by the Federation of Indian Students of Australia was that the police needs to be multicultural.

"There are only four Sikhs - three are operational, one is training - in 11,000 officers in Victoria.

"We have close to 30 to 40,000 Sikhs in Melbourne now.

"But we have an all-white police who tell our people that they have to wait for justice.

"You can see why these people immediately say: 'racism, racism'."

A recent spate of race-based attacks on Indians has soured Melbourne's reputation on the sub-continent.

Victorian Premier John Brumby used his trip to India last week to limit the fallout from the negative publicity.

"An overall campaign across the state to promote acceptance is needed," Cr Laurence said.

"We have seen the Indians targeted and the Chinese, too."

Inspector Mark Doney from Mill Park Police told AAP on Monday the injured offenders had got their "just deserts" on Sunday.

Asked whether the Indians had reacted to racial abuse, Insp Doney said: "It could have been. At this stage I don't have what was actually said in front of me."

Insp Doney said the injured men were taken to Northern Hospital with minor injuries but hadn't pressed charges.

Insp Doney said police were doing their best to crack down on any potential trouble. continues here

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