Raj happy at response by police after mall attack
MEHFIL Indian Restaurant owner Raj Sharma has welcomed the response of police to the attack on two of his staff members in the Ipswich Mall last Friday night.
Mr Sharma has met with Inspector Michelle Stenner to discuss his concerns over the attack allegedly by two youths, aged 16 and 17, on restaurant manager Jasan Singh and chef Tinku.
Mr Singh received a stab wound when he went to assist his chef, who was it was alleged was beaten by the pair.
It followed other verbal attacks and harassment of Mr Sharma's staff at night.
"I was very happy with the meeting," Mr Sharma said.
"She said she was going to increase the patrols at night, particularly on Friday nights when the problem seems to occur
"That will definitely be welcomed by my staff. They have given us a number that we can call them on if there is any issue.
"I am definitely very happy with the way the police have reacted.
"We have been encouraged to report any attacks against staff.
"There is a problem, and we need to address the problem.
"I have had most of the business people in the community call me and say that something needs to be done."
Cr Andrew Antoniolli said there would be a focus on the Ipswich Mall area.
"There are a few niggling problems but nothing major," he said.
"A little bit of police attention will address that.
"I think Raj also now understands the need to report these matters and concerns about abuse.
"Unless police know about these things happening on a regular basis, it is very difficult for them to focus any attention towards it.
"I have given Raj that advice as well.
"No one accepts this sort of behaviour at all, but the incident that occurred the other night was an isolated incident.
"What a lot of people don't understand is that is the first serious incident in the camera-controlled part of the Ipswich CBD in 15 years."
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said last Friday night's incident highlighted the total stupidity of any thugs attacking innocent people in full view of security cameras.
He said Ipswich welcomed all cultures, but would not tolerate such behaviour.
"You only have to look at the way we welcomed the migrants on Saturday and the support Raj gets at his restaurant," Cr Pisasale said
"But we are not going to let this incident change the perception and image of the city.
"We just want the courts to deal with them.
"There is a group of young kids that hangs around in the mall and they harass elderly people and shoppers.
"A small percentage of young kids don't have respect for authority or community values.
"What is happening in Ipswich is happening in every city in Australia.
"But we are not putting our heads in the sand. That is why (councillor) Andrew is working with the police, the PCYC and other different agencies to try and deal with it."