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Human Rights Commissioner details rise in racist complaints following reporting on African gang crisis

Victoria’s Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commissioner says there has been a rise in the number of racism complaints following media reports into the African gang crisis.

It comes after a number of incidents involving young men of African descent in recent months, including a wild party in Werribee where an Air Bnb house was trashed, an incident involving a policeman who was kicked in the face, and the trashing of a community park in Tarneit.

Kristen Hilton told Tom Elliott on 3AW Drive the media’s reporting on the gang issue had coincided with a rise in complaints related to racial discrimination.

“Those communities are finding it extremely difficult at the moment with the representation in the media at the moment,” she said.

“The proportionality with which it’s reported perhaps is questionable.

“The reporting of it over summer was intense.”

She said some Muslim women had reported having their hijabs and niqabs torn off.

“Where there is an increase in criminal activity and where there is an increase in the way in which it is reported, that extrapolates out that feeling a sense of fear, whether we are conscious of it or not.”

Ms Hilton also discussed the need for a code of conduct among councillors during the interview on 3AW Drive.

Click PLAY to hear the full interview on 3AW Drive