Airbnb owners and the media must share the blame for crimes linked to African-Australian youths, a South Sudanese community leader has said.
Ring Mayar, chairman of the South Sudanese Community Association of Victoria (SSCAV), said the owners of ‘Airbnb party houses’ had to take ‘some of the burden’ for sub-letting their properties to host out-of-control parties where homes were trashed, neighbours assaulted and police targeted.
Mr Mayar believes the home owners are partly culpable for the destruction and vandalising of their own homes by the Airbnb guests.
Airbnb owners and the media are partly to blame for crimes linked to African-Australian youths, Ring Mayar, (pictured) of the South Sudanese Community Association of Victoria said
‘What are the contracts in place, if I may ask the house owners, and how are they leasing these houses to the young people who may come with unruly behaviour?, he asked The Australian.
When Mr Mayar took on the role of chairman of the SSCAV he promised to address crime rates and acknowledged the community had a problem with youth offending.
However, he denies his community has a ‘youth gang problem’ and instead accused the media of unfair reporting.
‘What are the contracts in place, if I may ask the house owners, and how are they leasing these houses to the young people who may come with unruly behaviour?, Mr Mayar said. (Pictured: A new housing estate’s community centre found trashed and property destroyed)
The South Sudanese leader more recently said his community did not have a ‘youth gang problem’ and instead accused the media of unfair reporting. (Pictured: A police car damaged when police arrived at a party at a Melbourne home where four police vehicles were trashed)
‘The statistics indicate that there are no gang crimes with the South Sudanese or any other group. It’s just the media which does that often [says there are gangs],’ he said.
‘Stereotypes and discrimination become the forefront of reporting, therefore young people are unsettled in schools, some of them become homeless … this is the ripple effect of unfair reporting.’
Mr Mayar, who took on the role of chairman in May, promised a fresh approach to youth crime but believes that home owners also share responsibility for property damage
‘The statistics indicate that there are no gang crimes with the South Sudanese or any other group. It’s just the media which does that often [says there are gangs],’ Mr Mayar said
Mr Mayar and the SSCAV were angered by the Seven Network’s Sunday Night program which last week covered ‘African gangs’ in Melbourne.
The group said that report indicated that the media were disregarding anti-racial discrimination laws.
Mr Mayar did apologize for a comment by former SSCAV spokesman Richard Deng, who said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should ‘go back to where he came from’.
Mr Mayar works to address crime through educating youths about Australia’s legal system, and by directly working with offenders when they get out of juvenile detention. Pictured: An Airbnb rental damaged by African gangs
Pictured: Menace to Society, linked to the infamous Apex gang, had its ‘MTS’ initials tagged on walls around the centre