Melton: Senior police officer tells Neil Mitchell we should consider mask ban
A senior police officer has told Neil Mitchell we should consider laws banning masks at rallies.
But a spokesman for Reclaim Australia said some members needed to remain anonymous at their rallies to protect their jobs.
Stephen Leane, the Assistant Commissioner for the North West Metro region, was at street level mean the far-Right and far-Left activists clashed at Melton on Sunday.
Many of the protagonists wore masks – some using the Australian flag to do so.
‘I think it shows a propensity to do something else,’ Mr Leane told Neil Mitchell.
‘You can’t come to a public rally with your face masked; if you do there’s obviously one reason (to hide) that you’re doing it.
‘(Not being able to see faces) makes it difficult for us.’
Mr Leane said the total cost of the police operation wasn’t yet clear, but ‘we’re in the hundreds of thousands (of dollars)’.
Listen: Asst Commissioner Stephen Leane with Neil Mitchell
John Bolton, one of the organisers of the rally, said some Reclaim Australia members work for the public service.
‘If they became involved in any political rally on behalf of Reclaim, their employment would be in jeopardy,’ Mr Bolton said.
But he conceded some people who wear masks are ‘thugs’ who ‘intend to commit thuggery’.
Listen: John Bolton butts heads with Neil Mitchell