Admitting that the statistics of the attacks on Indians in Australia were “problematic”, Victorian police chief Simon Overland has refused to release the details saying it can be “misinterpreted”.
Overland refused to release the statistics on the grounds that they are “subjective and open to interpretation”.
He said information about a victim’s race was based on a subjective assessment of their appearance - and Indians were included in the broad category of “south Asian appearance”. Such a category could also include those from countries other than India such as Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, he said.
“The problem with putting the data out there is that it will be misunderstood and we see this all the time,” he was quoted as saying in the The Age newspaper on Thursday.
Overland has earlier commented that Indians were over- represented as victims of robberies which was different than Victorian premier John Brumby who said “assaults on Indian students are under-represented in terms of population share”.
Overland said his comments were based on police intelligence which relied on data that was “problematic”.
Because information about crimes affecting a particular racial group was based on a subjective assessment of the victim’s appearance the data was used only for internal purposes, he said.
Overland also said he regretted telling Indian students to “try and look as poor as you can” to avoid becoming a victim of crime.