Victoria Police believe Melbourne will not witness the sort of Islamic protests that were held in Sydney at the weekend, but has formed a contingency plan to ensure police are ready.
Deputy Commissioner Tim Cartwright said police intelligence suggested there was little reason for authorities to believe trouble could happen within Victoria’s Muslim population.
But he conceded police command had large numbers of officers at the ready round the clock.
“We’re quite confident what we’ve seen there won’t occur in Victoria,” he said.
“Any sort of violent behaviour of this nature, any sort of violent protest, we’re prepared to deal with and we’ve demonstrated quite recently that we can get numbers to the ball quite quickly.
“Make no mistake, if people do intend on taking on this sort of action we’ll be acting quickly and firmly.”
Mr Cartwright said police were in regular discussions with Islamic leaders across Melbourne and was confident that they would notify authorities if they sensed any trouble.
He said Victoria had a long history of community involvement with policing and was a world leader on multicultural issues.
But Mr Cartwright conceded there was a risk that the events in Sydney – where Islamic protesters rioted against police – could prompt incidents of violence against Muslims elsewhere.
He said Victoria police would continue to monitor events in Sydney but was unaware of any looming protests in Melbourne.
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