A police car has been pelted with rocks in north-west Melbourne after officers responded to reports a group of more than 100 youths of African appearance had gathered at a park in Taylors Hill.
The incident occurred about 5.30pm on Wednesday after a large group of youths gathered in the area, police said.
Official police media reassured the public there was “no threat to community safety”.
“A number of projectiles, believed to be rocks, were thrown and a police vehicle was damaged,” police said in a statement.
“Police continued to patrol the area and monitor the situation as the youths dispersed and were moved on from the area a short time later.”
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) August 8, 2018
Photos of the incident showed a police vehicle with a shattered rear window and officers in riot gear.
“Police continue to make ongoing efforts to address community concerns about safety in the western suburbs as part of Operation Regnant,” police said.
“A number of specialist units were utilised, including the Operations Response Unit and the Public Order Response Team, to ensure public safety.”
No one was injured. No arrests were made.
Some local residents reported being told by police to shelter indoors. Others gave quotes to media saying they feared for their safety during the incident.
“That’s the reason we have roller shutters now,” an unnamed man told The Age.
“I’m not opening the door. I was told by police to get inside before.”
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, who claims Melbourne is in the midst of an African crime gang “crisis”, was quick to respond.
“Enough is enough. Victorians deserve better than this mess,” read a post on his official Facebook account on Wednesday night.
“While Victorians are cowering in fear, barricaded inside their homes as gangs riot in the street, Daniel Andrews refuses to even admit we have a crime problem in Melbourne.”