All week I have been asking people I know this question: Why were convoys of Lebanese men allowed to drive into Cronulla and other Sydney suburbs smashing cars and shops and bashing local residents? Surely, these large convoys must have been noticed by the police. Why weren’t they stopped?
My work colleagues gave me some unconvincing answers: that the police couldn’t be everywhere, or that the police could not have stopped the cars.
But now a different answer has surfaced. The Seven Network claims to have a police report instructing officers to stay away from Punchbowl Park where a convoy was gathering in order not to “antagonise” the young Lebanese men. The convoy then moved into Cronulla unimpeded by police.
I can only hope that the media pursues this incident vigorously. Who was responsible for the directive? What was the thinking behind it? It was a decision with serious consequences: it left the residents of Cronulla unprotected from a serious attack.
Police tactics will be different for this Sunday, though. A force of 1500 officers is being organised to patrol Cronulla and surrounds.
Meanwhile, there have been four attacks on churches in Sydney, the worst of which was an attack on a Catholic primary school during a Christmas carols service. Shots were fired into cars and parents abused.