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Police and restaurant owner to discuss attack on staff

Mehfil Indian Restaurant owner Raj Sharma.
Mehfil Indian Restaurant owner Raj Sharma. Sarah Harvey

POLICE will meet with Mehfil Indian Restaurant owner Raj Sharma to discuss his concerns about attacks on his staff as they leave work late at night

Mr Sharma said his countrymen were being racially vilified on a regular basis as they walked home.

That culminated in an attack on two of his staff in Ipswich Mall on Friday night by two youths, one of whom was armed with a knife.

Mr Sharma said he was stabbed in the head with a syringe outside his restaurant last year.

Inspector Keith McDonald said information provided to police after Friday's incident indicated it was not racially motivated.

Police are taking Mr Sharma's concerns seriously and, along with Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, will meet Mr Sharma to get to the bottom of the racial issue.

"That is why we are having a meeting with Mr Sharma so he can advise us of what is happening, because if this is happening it is not being reported to us," Insp McDonald said.

"If these incidents are occurring they need to be reported.

"We'll work through this and listen to what Mr Sharma says.

"Any attack on any person, no matter what race they are, is something we don't accept.

"We want people to be safe to walk around at night in any location in Ipswich without fear of being attacked or abused."

"But we have not had any significant increase in reported attacks on people of cultural groups in the Ipswich CBD."

Insp McDonald said the co-ordinated response to the crime was heartening.

"The important thing about Friday night is that...a member of the public provided assistance, police responded quickly and the two offenders were in custody in a short period of time. Safe City contacted police…and there was a very rapid response.

"As part of our normal operational policing we have foot patrols in the CBD. We have extra afternoon and night shifts. We have a police beat at Riverlink and a new railway squad office at Ipswich railway station.

"Our endeavour is to maintain community safety across the board."

Topics:  assault, mehfil indian restaurant



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