A spate of verbal attacks, some escalating into violence, around Chapel St has prompted calls for Stonnington Council to do more to tackle violence.
The Anti-Violence Project (AVP) Victoria this week said there had been eight separate incidents of homophobic violence since June on the AVP’s confidential online reporting service.
The website contains ‘crime map’, which shows three attacks in the Commercial Rd and Chapel St area. The incidents, however, went unreported to police.
AVP convenor Greg Adkins urged victims to contact police, but said more needs to be done at a local government level to combat violence.
“Our reports are showing the Chapel St area clubs are becoming problematic for gay men in the early hours,” Adkins said.
“There have been three clear incidents of gay men physically at risk that weren’t reported to the police, and that’s the great concern, that this violence goes unreported.
“The problem is, if people don’t report, it’s difficult for police to target problem areas.”
The attacks typically started with verbal assaults from groups of men at a gay couple and then result in further violence.
Stonnington Council has limited power to combat street violence, as policing falls under state government jurisdiction. However, Adkins said more could be done to target venues where these incidents occurred.
“They are the civic leaders of the city. They are not limited in addressing this issue. They are sitting on their hands … the council needs to work with licensed traders and raise this issue seriously.”
The council’s Liquor Accord has membership from licensed venues in the area, including Commercial Rd gay venues Heaven’s Door and Priscilla’s. A council spokeswoman told Southern Star the Accord meetings, held every second month, were the appropriate forum to raise concerns.
Southern Star was unable to get comment from Stonnington mayor Claude Ullin.

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