Friday, October 20, 2006

Police Accidentally Quell Riot

NSW's Strike Force Neil Report into the Cronulla riots has found:

SENIOR New South Wales police let front-line officers risk their lives to quell rioting racists fuelled by vigilante text messages, sun and alcohol at Cronulla last Christmas... (a) damning assessment of an internal police review ... found the command structure failed, leaving officers on the ground to individually control the 5000 rioters...
No mention in the media now of events that also played a part:

(Mahmoud) Eid's alleged attack on three men on December 7 outside North Cronulla Surf Club came three days after an assault by men of Middle Eastern extraction on Cronulla surf lifesavers, the court was told. In a statement tendered to court, police said the December 7 incident had "caused tensions … to escalate" to the point that a race riot erupted at Cronulla Beach four days later.
It was ok when:

Two days of revenge attacks followed the riot.
The police command structure had figured out the correct approach:

The Seven Network said it had obtained a police incident report instructing officers to stay away from one of the areas - believed to be Punchbowl Park in Sydney's west - on Monday night.

The park is believed to have been the meeting place for scores of men who formed a vehicle convoy which drove to Cronulla unimpeded by police.

The network claimed the report showed some of those in the crowd were suspected of being Middle Eastern criminals who had been involved in malicious damage and civil disobedience offences throughout the Sutherland Shire.

The report is believed to have said "a direction was given to police about midnight not to enter the area and antagonise these persons".
Among those not to be antagonised was, allegedly, Mr Eid, who:

...would plead not guilty to three charges relating to a revenge attack at Cronulla on December 12, his lawyer said.
And so it goes.

-- Nick

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