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Brendan Nottle ‘wasn’t really listened to’ about African youth problems

A community leader says claims Saturday’s ugly CBD riots came as a surprise are off the mark and those who raised concerns simply weren’t listened to.

Major Brendan Nottle from the Salvation Army was branded a ‘racist’ when he previously voiced his concerns about growing levels of violence within Melbourne’s African communities.

He said it had been a problem for almost five years now, but he did not receive any support from authorities.

‘Somehow, we’ve got to resolve it because it’s going to end in tragedy,’ Mr Nottle told 3AW Breakfast.

‘We felt we weren’t really listened to, in terms of trying to get some resolution around it.

‘As I raised those concerns, I was labelled a racist.

‘It went around on social media and I think even the Human Rights Commission was contacted.

‘People were completely missing the point.

‘My concern was actually for those young African people.

‘We needed to understand why they were so angry and why they were feeling so disconnected.’

Mr Nottle said many young Africans did not want to be in Australia and had been dragged here by family after spending much of their childhood in refugee camps overseas.

He said many had grown up having violent encounters with foreign police.

‘They often come here with a hatred of police,’ Mr Nottle said.

‘They come here not being able to fit in at school, not being able to get jobs and feel locked out.’

Click PLAY below to hear more from Brendan Nottle on 3AW Breakfast