Po­lice call for calm

Eastern Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - Kristie Lim

BAYSWA­TER Po­lice of­fi­cer-in-charge John Waghorn has urged the com­mu­nity not to take vig­i­lante ac­tion after an al­leged as­sault in Bayswa­ter.

About 10.30pm on Jan­uary 9, po­lice at­tended a house on Lan­g­ley Street, which had its win­dow smashed for the third time in a week.

An hour later, of­fi­cers re­turned to re­spond to an al­leged as­sault on two men in­volv­ing about eight chil­dren and a woman, be­lieved to be their mother.

The group con­fronted one of the men, whom they be­lieved was linked to a sep­a­rate po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

How­ever, they re­alised they had con­fronted the wrong man and al­legedly went on to at­tack the sec­ond man who saw the as­sault and was their real tar­get.

Both men sus­tained in­juries and were taken to hos­pi­tal.

The woman was charged with dis­or­derly con­duct, re­fused bail and was sched­uled to ap­pear be­fore court at a later date.

Se­nior Sergeant Waghorn said the woman was in­tox­i­cated and held a knife to one of the men’s throat.

“She was the per­son who in­sti­gated the con­fronta­tion with the wrong per­son… we will charge her with fur­ther of­fences,” he said.

“Clearly it is a vig­i­lante type re­sponse.”

Sgt Waghorn said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was on­go­ing and urged wit­nesses to come for­ward with in­for­ma­tion.

He said vig­i­lantes ran the risk of be­com­ing vil­lains, as op­posed to po­ten­tial vic­tims.

“The thrust of the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion should be al­lowed to con­tinue unim­peded or without any ob­struc­tion and without any of this vig­i­lante type ac­tion,” he said.

“Vig­i­lante ac­tion could also re­sult in the wrong per­son be­ing as­saulted and in­jured, as in this case.

“There is no place in the com­mu­nity for vig­i­lante ac­tion.”

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