Violent Racist Leb/Arab Gangs of Melbourne
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Uploaded on Feb 15, 2010
A NEW wave of gang violence is wreaking havoc across Melbourne with attacks on police, armed robberies, dozens of random assaults, stabbings and murders.
And these violent, technology-savvy teenagers have taken their turf war to the Internet to recruit members and boast of their crimes.
A Herald Sun investigation has found several gangs with up to 100 members are roaming the suburbs to brawl with rivals on Friday and Saturday nights.
They are often armed with weapons including steel batons crudely made from shopping trolley handles, knives, garden stakes, bottles and baseball bats.
"The level of violence has increased," a detective said.
"They've upped the ante. It's reached the stage where someone could get killed."
Police have launched a crackdown against one of the main gangs, the notorious Oakleigh Wogs, who are alleged to be behind a surge in trouble in the eastern suburbs.
In one instance, police from an inner-suburban station resorted to using capsicum spray to clear a mob that surrounded them.
The Oakleigh Wogs' rivals include the Kambo Klowns and the Southland Boys.
Police suspect the Oakleigh Wogs are responsible for:
ASSAULTS on 30 people in the past month in Melbourne's south-east and dozens more in the past year.
AN attack on an off-duty policeman.
A SAVAGE assault on an outnumbered Kambo Klowns member who will never fully recover from his injuries.
One detective said the Oakleigh Wogs, a decades-old group mostly of Greek background, had been a growing problem for police in the past year.
The gang battlegrounds are mostly in streets, at railway stations, suburban shopping centres, community festivals and after gate-crashing parties.
Bystanders also have been bashed in senseless attacks or robbed of mobile phones by the gangs of mostly teenage boys.
As recently as last Saturday night, police were forced to pull batons on a group of suspected Oakleigh Wogs.
The officers were looking for a gang involved in an armed robbery at Brighton.
A police source said informers on gang members could be protected.
"We can't help if people don't speak to us. We'll provide any protection (to witnesses) in our power. We've been able to take action when people have spoken up," the officer said.
The detective said most victims feared retribution.
"These aren't alcohol or drug-related offences," the detective said. "It's the pure thrill of standing over someone."
Business owners in Oakleigh said gang members had taken stock from shelves and walked out, knowing their reputation meant they would not be stopped.
The mother of a 15-year-old boy bashed by the Oakleigh Wogs said her son persuaded her not to involve police because he feared a payback attack.
Several of the teenager's teeth were knocked out after he refused to surrender his mobile phone when confronted by a gang.
"You give your kid a phone to be safe, but it's the worst thing to do," she said.
The Southland Boys Cheltenham-based teens of mostly Turkish descent have a website which promises to feature information on recent "punch-ons".
It also displays an angry letter from a man claiming to be a Rebel Motorcycle Gang member vowing to take revenge over an alleged attack on a friend.
"My young friend was seriously injured by your gutless mates at Southland Shopping Centre. Cuts and abrasions were present on his ribs and neck from (steel) trolley bars," the bikie wrote.
A detective said hatred between the Southland Boys and Oakleigh Wogs had helped thin out the Cheltenham gang's numbers in recent months.
But one of the Southland Boys is believed to have been responsible for a recent attack at Chadstone shopping centre in which at least two teens were injured.
Workers at Southland said the victims' friends had returned to settle the score.
The Kambo Klowns have also come to police notice for their violence.
Two months ago, a car load of Kambos armed with machetes and samurai swords were intercepted by police on another gang's turf. Others have been turned away from Oakleigh railway station.
The strife is not confined to their own turf.
The Kambos, based around Springvale and Noble Park, are known to have caused problems at this year's Moomba Festival.
Sen-Sgt Mike Jenkins of Oakleigh police said he believed a "zero tolerance" approach on gang activity in the area was starting to stamp out some of the problems.
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