2006: Ethnic crime: Somalian and Sudanese



Although there are only about 3,500 Somalis in Perth, they are responsible for a mini crime wave. Numerous violent crimes committed by Somalis have hit the headlines over the past three years.

The Somalis have introduced violent car-jacking to Perth. The perpetrators, mostly with links to the African Kings, a dangerous criminal gang, have carried out a series of violent carjackings, assaults and robberies. Some examples:

* Somali refugee Abdirak Mohmd Hassan was jailed for seven years after being convicted in the Supreme Court of Western Australia on 28 May 2004 over a series of violent carjackings, including two knife-point attacks committed between October 13 and 25, 2002. In sentencing, Justice McKechnie said Hassan's carjacking crimes indicated a disturbing pattern of criminality "largely alien to our society".

* Then in August 2005, Hassan again faced a Supreme Court trial over another violent carjacking. The victim, a young student feared she was going to die after the car she was driving was hijacked by Hassan and another Somali.

* Somali refugee Dhaqane Alim, 19, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of Western Australia on 6 February 2004 to charge of armed robbery with violence in company. The court was told that on 20 May 2003 Alim and two co-offenders followed the victim from the Burswood train station before mugging him. Alim's co-offender, Jye Horton, who also faces an armed robbery charge, threatened the victim with a 15 cm knife while Alim grabbed the man's arms and rifled through his pockets, stealing a mobile phone and a wallet. The court was also told that Alim was a member of the African Kings street gang.

* On 22 March 2004 five men were taken to hospital after a violent clash between Somali and Aboriginal groups armed with knives and clubs in Perth's Northbridge area. One Aboriginal man received seven stab wounds and a suspected punctured lung after being attacked by a group of Somali men.

* Police were called to break up a violent brawl between a large number of Africans and Aboriginals in the Perth suburb of Mirrabooka on 27 December 2005. Police Commissioner O'Callaghan said police were called out 14 times in the last 12 months to similar brawls between Africans and Aboriginals.