Police have issued a stern warning to Queenslanders, following a rise in abuse towards the Chinese community.
It’s understood that over the past few weeks, there has been a massive spike in the amount of racially motivated attacks occurring in Queensland during the coronavirus pandemic.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll and Police Minister Mark Ryan said the abuse that Chinese Australians have been experiencing during the crisis is “abhorrent” and “needs to stop now.”
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So far, police have laid 22 charges for racially motivated offences after receiving 16 complaints from members of the public since March.
The offences include racially motivated wilful damage, assaults, robberies and public nuisance, Commissioner Carroll said.
“They manifest themselves in verbal abuse, writing abusive signs in forms of wilful damage, and people purposely assaulting others while being racially abusive at the same time.
“This is abhorrent behaviour. We all need to respect each other.”
Police Minister Mark Ryan also condemned the behaviour, by urging Queenslanders to remember we are in this together.
“Do not let this current crisis destroy your humanity by resorting to hurtful, racist and quite unacceptable statements” Ryan said.
“Just yesterday we saw a very kind donation from the Chinese community to our health system… that donation of PPE will also be extended to our police service.
“Sadly, there were a few people in our community who thought it was appropriate to attack that generosity.
“I’m calling it out today… this is something that we are all in together.
“We are all on the same page, we are all one community… We should be out there supporting each other and ensuring that kindness is still what makes our community a strong community.”
Multicultural Affairs Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said it was up to every Queenslander to call out racism in all its forms.
“Whether it’s on the street or on the internet, there is no place for racism in Queensland,” he said.
“More than 23,500 Queenslanders have joined the Care Army and those volunteers come from across the religious and racial spectrum, from Sunnybank and Mt Isa, to Mackay and Cairns.
“Many thousands more are teaching our children, caring for our aged and cleaning our hospitals and every Queenslander deserves to be assured that offensive behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Commissioner Carroll said police would take action against anyone committing racial abuse.
“Significant penalties apply and the community can rest assured police will fully investigate matters brought to their attention,” the Commissioner said.