Concerns for safety of Melbourne women following spate of violent attacks

Extract from story by Digital Staff Sunrise Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Courtney Herron, 25, was bashed and killed at Parkville Royal Park in May. Henry Hammond is charged with her murder.

Courtney Herron, 25, was bashed and killed at Parkville Royal Park in May. Henry Hammond is charged with her murder.
In January, 21-year-old Aya Maasarwe was raped, murdered and set on fire near a Bundoora tram stop. Her attacker, 21-year-old Codey Herrmann, is awaiting sentence.
Budding comedian Eurydice Dixon, 22, was raped and murdered while walking home through Princes Park in June last year. Jaymes Todd is appealing against his life sentence.
“What we’re seeing is an unusual course of events,” MacKillop Family Services CEO Dr. Robyn Miller told Sunrise.
Dr Miller previously helped the Victorian government frame policy around family violence and has been working in the field for three decades.
“Statistically, these random attacks from strangers are quite rare. What’s more common are attacks by intimate partners, family members, and acquaintances.”A growing number of experts are questioning the belief that gender inequality is the root cause of violence against women. They argue that poverty, mental health, and substance abuse are also important factors.
End extract
The past statistics to the effect that random attacks from strangers have no relevance today because society is changing, and that change has been rapid. Gangs attacking shop keepers, women being raped in parks, and murders on lonely highways along with other violent acts are becoming the norm and this will be reflected in future statistics 5-years from now.
In response to this emerging threat to society is this Bill for an Act that would have allowed the above-murdered women the option of making an application to be permitted a regulated weapon such as pepper spray, or a taser. Random attacks mean that they occur in random locations. Therefore, not-for-profit security firms placing people with the right skill sets and resources in random public places that add an invisible layer of protection in society is a sensible strategy for the protection of our communities.

In January, 21-year-old Aya Maasarwe was raped, murdered and set on fire near a Bundoora tram stop. Her attacker, 21-year-old Codey Herrmann, is awaiting sentence.

Budding comedian Eurydice Dixon, 22, was raped and murdered while walking home through Princes Park in June last year. Jaymes Todd is appealing against his life sentence.

“What we’re seeing is an unusual course of events,” MacKillop Family Services CEO Dr. Robyn Miller told Sunrise.

Dr Miller previously helped the Victorian government frame policy around family violence and has been working in the field for three decades.

“Statistically, these random attacks from strangers are quite rare. What’s more common are attacks by intimate partners, family members, and acquaintances.”A growing number of experts are questioning the belief that gender inequality is the root cause of violence against women. They argue that poverty, mental health, and substance abuse are also important factors.

End extract

The past statistics to the effect that random attacks from strangers have no relevance today because society is changing, and that change has been rapid. Gangs attacking shop keepers, women being raped in parks, and murders on lonely highways along with other violent acts are becoming the norm and this will be reflected in future statistics 5-years from now.

In response to this emerging threat to society is this Bill for an Act that would have allowed the above murdered women the option of making application to be permitted a regulated weapon such as pepper spray, or a taser. Random attacks means that they occur in random locations . Therefore, not-for-profit security firms placing people with the right skill sets and resources in random public places that adds an invisible layer of protection in society is sensible strategy for the protection of our communities.

Quote from the ​victim, “Its life and death behind the counter here”…

The following is a summary from information sourced from a 9 News story:

A Doveton grandfather has risked his life to fight off six thieves raiding his family bottle shop. Bottles are thrown and smashed glass is strewn outside the store. One youth returns holding the sign as a shield. Several of his friends return, one armed with what appears to be a fence paling, and storm the store to free the gang member who is being detained for the police. The attendant, still armed with a bat, along with the other men barricade the door as one youth outside throws the wooden stake at a front window.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/fierce-battle-at-doveton-bottle-shop-caught-on-film/ar-AAJ1wWv?ocid=spartandhp&fbclid=IwAR1I0k2OG_coJZvG9VDg8OB5FpWttYHB15eoEEyxDzYcR_eLxKs91rpNn70

What is witch-hunt legislation?

The Witchcraft Act was a law passed by the Parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain. Authorities viewed witchcraft and magic as illusory, treating it as a serious offense. The last person executed for witchcraft in Great Britain was in 1727. The keyword above is “illusory”.

Today it is legislation that contains no criminal intent as an element of an offense that targets anyone associated with a firearm real or otherwise that results in a criminal charge.

A good example of a “Witch-Hunt legislation” is the following situation:

Teenagers in New South Wales engaging in the sport of gel-blasters (i.e. a toy gun that propels soft gel harmless to people) are the targets of a criminal offense to be in possession of these toys. Some will say that the justification for this criminal law is that gel-blasters look like real guns.

However, it is reasonable to say that over time real guns now look like toys noting the use of plastics and Hollywood like add-ons including futurist stocks, scopes, and other devices. It has become difficult to tell a real gun from a toy gun, and the trend is that real guns will become more sci-fi looking in appearance.

if criminal intent is not an element of an offence than it is reasonable to say that it is “illusory” to presume that just because a person may be in possession of a firearm (real or otherwise) that they have criminal intent.

Another example of possession of a firearm (real or otherwise) that has no criminal intent is the fear of being raped. A woman is being stalked by a known rapist that is illusive to the resource-poor police. Being a person that grew up during the era when possession of a firearm in and of itself was not evil, she acquires a 22 rifle from the black market that she keeps hidden in her bedroom because she is familiar with this weapon and knows how to safely use it if need be?

One night the known rapist break in through her back door, and she retrieves the rifle and as he breaks down her bedroom door she stand across the room from him and points the rifle at him shouting, “I’ll shoot if you take one more step towards me.”

On seeing the armed woman the known rapist retreats into the street and crashes his car running a red light.

The police arrest the woman for possession of an illegal firearm and they arrest the man for breaking into her house. Under present laws who will the law punish most in the above scenario, the known rapist or the woman?

Regrettable the woman will receive the hardest penalty as the man’s actions fall short of attempted rape because he did not take that one more step.

Regulated Weapon – Pepper Spray

Category

Category - Moderate Regulation:

The following is one of many of the types of defense weapons within the category of “moderate regulation” that may be considered under the Act pending a detailed assessment of the defense technology.

Scenario

In areas where the police-to-citizen ratio is high compared to other areas, it can be said that there is a problem. Often these areas will have high fences and dogs for protection. Unfortunately, not all dog owners are responsible and attacks upon children and adults out for a walk do occur.

Perhaps the “Pepper Spray” like the one shown below is the answer to avoiding being mulled by a dangerous dog or pack of dogs. The product below was designed for bears. Obviously, the product is from the United States, however, do have dangerous dogs.

Mace Brand Bear Pepper Spray – Featuring a spray pattern with a range up to 35 feet, the Mace® Bear Pepper Spray allows you to safely enjoy the outdoors. The 6-second bursts release in a stream pattern to ward off bears and other predators. With its finger loop handle and safety clip, this Mace Bear Pepper Spray aids in preventing outdoor danger

In the news today: 

A school teacher suffered serious injuries in a terrifying attack by a pack of dogs. The Teacher broke a leg after jumping a storm wall on the esplanade to escape the dogs. The dogs savaged her causing serious wounds to her shoulder and a broken ankle. She was flown to Townsville emergency ward by helicopter.

Example of Specific Circumstances and use of Regulated Weapon:

A community teacher working in an area where dangerous dogs have been known to roam the streets completed training consistent with the security industry standard and was issued a permit to possess pepper spray for the purpose of self-defense.

The permit issue allowed her to carry the pepper spray in her purse as she walked to and from the school. Today she was harassed by a pack of dogs and was able to avoid being attacking by using the pepper spray. Council’s animal control officers are in the area looking for the dogs.

Regulated Weapon – Salt Handgun

Category - Moderate Regulation:

The following is one of many of the types of defense weapons within the category of “moderate regulation” that may be considered under the Act pending a detailed assessment of the defense technology.

Scenario

An attacker armed with a knife in a public area has stabbed or is threatening to stab people around them. Refusing to put down his weapon and continuing to move aggressively towards people some of which are elderly and unable to out-run the attacker, what do you do?

Perhaps the “salt handgun” could be the answer to avoid hand to hand confrontation?

Salt handgun

Chicago-based startup Salt has launched a crowdfunding campaign for a less-than-lethal weapon designed as an alternative to firearms for self-defense. The pneumatic pistol is designed to stop an attacker using an incapacitating powder that temporarily blinds them without the need to engage with the attacker in close and dangerous quarters.

The Salt is a CO₂-powered air-gun that fires hollow plastic spheres similar to paintballs, except that instead of paint, they are filled with a proprietary powder made of oleoresin capsicum and other ingredients. On impact, the spheres burst and a fine spray of the powder spreads around the target. This powder is extremely irritating – causing an intense burning sensations that temporarily blinds anyone who encounters it while making it difficult to breathe.

The makers say that the powder is stronger in many respects than those used by the military and law enforcement and is designed for maximum stopping power.

The effects last up to 50 minutes, though they begin to wear off after 15 to 30 minutes. Because it’s a dust, the Salt rounds can not only be used to shoot an assailant directly but can also lay down a cloud 4-5 feet in diameter that acts as a barrier against attack.

Note: In a city or large town the response time of police to high priority incidents such as the scenario above (as an average) has been 8 to 9 minutes which is fairly impressive. However, a lot can happen in 8 to 9 minutes.

In countries areas the response could be an hour away should the police be attending an incident for instance a serious car accident on the other side of their police district. As for remote areas, several hours if someone was able to notify them should they be in a mobile phone coverage area.

Often the passer-by or another present at the scene is the first responder.

In the news today:

Milos Novakovic jail for murdering party host in a restaurant. Novakovic stabbed another man to death two years ago has been sentenced to 20 years and six months in prison.

Example of Specific Circumstances and use of Regulated Weapon:

The restaurant manager completed training consistent with the security industry standard and was issued a permit to possess the salt handgun for the purpose of self-defense.

The permit issue allowed the regulated weapon to be kept on the premises of the restaurant. The weapon was used by the manager as a deterrent to a man who entered the restaurant waving a large bladed knife yelling at a man sitting at a dining table, “Your dead you’re dead, I’m going to kill you, I am going to kill you.” After a tense standoff of several minutes the police arrived and arrested the would be attacker.