News National Tony Abbott letter: Streets are ‘war zones’

Tony Abbott letter: Streets are ‘war zones’

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• Want solutions to booze-fuelled violence? Here’s one

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says some of Australia’s entertainment precincts have become virtual war zones with people walking around looking for a victim.

A recent increase in so-called king hit attacks in Sydney has led to calls for a tougher approach to alcohol-fuelled violence.

Mr Abbott said right around Australia there would be parents fearing for their children’s safety.

“Because a combination of the binge-drinking culture and the rise of these disturbed individuals who aren’t looking for a fight, they’re looking for a victim, has meant that what should be entertainment precincts have become at times virtual war zones,” he told Fairfax Radio in Melbourne.

“As a father and as a citizen, I’ve been reading these reports … I’ve been grieving with the parents of these poor vulnerable kids who were doing nothing to upset anyone, but have been picked by these disturbed individuals who seemingly enjoy nothing better than putting someone in hospital who has done nothing to harm them.”

Mr Abbott has called on the police and the judiciary to throw the book at the perpetrators of such attacks.

It is the second time in two days that Prime Minister Tony Abbott has spoken out against the violence on city streets.

Yesterday, Mr Abbott decried the “insidious” king hit culture sweeping Sydney, saying police and the courts should throw the book at offenders.

Sydney has recently witnessed an increase in so-called king hit attacks, which has led to calls for a tougher approach to alcohol-fuelled violence.

Mr Abbott condemned what he said was the “rise of the disturbed individual”.

“Who goes out not looking for a fight, but looking for a victim,” he told Macquarie Radio.

Describing the attacks as “utterly cowardly”, brutal and gratuitous, Mr Abbott said offenders should be treated with “appropriate severity”.

“This is a vicious, horrible change, and I think that really the police, the courts, the judges, ought to absolutely throw the book at people who perpetrate this kind of gratuitous, unprovoked violence,” he said.


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