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‘It scared people’: Neil Mitchell says Melbourne’s most iconic intersection is becoming a target

After a man terrorised people on Flinders Street yesterday there are fears Melbourne’s most iconic intersection is becoming a target for violence and terrorism.

In an attack that was eerily similar to the 2017 Bourke Street rampage, in which James Gargasoulas killed six and injured 27, a 26-year-old man performed burnouts at the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets.

Police were quick in their response, arresting the driver at the corner of Flinders and William streets before anyone was injured.

It has since been revealed the man allegedly behind the frightening attack had been arrested just a day earlier and had been in hospital for mental health issues.

Superintendent Dan Trimble said police were prepared to use the shoot to kill powers they were granted after the Bourke Street attack, but it wasn’t necessary.

Police responded three minutes after receiving the first triple zero call about the incident, but Mr Trimble said there’s always room for improvement.

“It’s still a long time, and like all these incidents we’ll assess the way we responded,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“There was probably, all up, around 50 members that were deployed.”

But Neil Mitchell said the erratic driver has once again exposed the vulnerability of the iconic Flinders Street intersection.

“It can’t be a coincidence that the burnouts were done in exactly the same fashion as Gargasoulas did it before he went on to kill six people,” the 3AW Mornings host said.

“Perhaps it inspired this person.

“Certainly it scared people. When the man was standing on the roof of the car no one paid much attention, but the burnouts started and people remembered Gargasoulas and were scared.

“It’s a pretty good response, three minutes. The system is working but it will become a target, that intersection.”

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said bollards will soon be installed on the Federation Square corner of the busy intersection.

Bollards are already in place on the Flinders Street Station corner of the intersection, but there are no plans to introduce them on the other two corners.

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Image: Nine News

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