Victoria’s Anti-Violence Project (AVP) is urging caution after an armed robbery at a Port Melbourne beat.

Anyone living near the Perce White Reserve — also known as Sandridge Beach — and has information about a conversation between four men on Thursday, April 8, should contact police.

It’s believed the victim stopped to go to the toilet when he was approached by three men, two of whom robbed him at knifepoint, stealing his phone and wallet before fleeing in two vehicles.

“Anyone who may have witnessed conversations between these men and any other person, or who may have noticed suspicious behaviour involving a group of men or a number of vehicles that seemed out of place for that time of night, should share this information with police,” AVP convenor Greg Adkins said.

“If people decide to visit areas known as beats they should protect themselves by being discreet, looking at alternative places to go and being aware of their surroundings, including exit points, and not carrying valuables with them.”

The same Port Melbourne beat made headlines in Southern Star in November when a 46-year-old man was attacked in the early hours.

Reports of violence at a St Kilda East beat in Alma Park have also surfaced in recent months incuding one in January where a man was confronted by men carrying torches.

Adkins said there hadn’t necessarily been an increase in beat violence in the last six months, however, there had been an increase in reporting.

“It’s the tip of the iceberg, we know there’s violence going on out there. It’s just that there’s been a rise in the reporting, we’ve seen a spike,” he said.

“What drives reports down is when there is discussion in the gay media berating beat users, it actually drives the reporting underground.”

Victorian Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer Senior Constable Gabrielle Tyacke urged victims of beat violence to come forward. She said offenders often feel they can get away with beat crimes because they believe victims won’t report to police.

Victims of violence can report to their local GLLO or report anonymously through the AVP website.

info: Contact GLLOs on 9247 6944, or visit www.antiviolence.info

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