Police defend not warning LGBTI community about a spate of gay bashings

Western Australian police have defended their decision to not tell the LGBTI community that a series of violent assaults on gay men were occurring in Perth’s southern suburbs.

Two men appeared in court last week pleading guilty to their involvement in the attacks, they will return to court next month for sentencing.

Four of the five assaults were carried out by one man, while the fifth attack was occurred a few weeks later and involved a group of men working together. The assaults occurred between January and March 2017.

Men were targeted through use of the dating app Grindr. When they went to meet the young man they’d been chatting to they were assaulted. One was bashed with a modified baseball bat, another was punched and kicked before being left for dead.

Police told OUTinPerth there was no need for a public awareness campaign because they had quickly and successfully apprehended the offenders.

“The investigation into this matter was given the highest priority by district detectives and a number of specialist units within the Western Australia Police Force were utilised. This focus, and the investigative actions which followed, led to the early identification and arrest of the five offenders who police determined were all linked and held a common purpose.” a police spokesperson said.

“As a result of the early arrests, it was deemed there was no requirement for a public awareness campaign. These were offences isolated to that one group of offenders. To our knowledge there have been no other similar reports.”

While online dating has become a part of many people’s daily lives it can also be fraught with danger.

In 2013 Perth man Warren Batchelor was killed when he was attacked by two men. Batchelor and another man had been having consensual sex inside a public toilet cubicle when they were attacked by Daniel Wade Taylor and Mark Jones.  Both Taylor and Jones received life sentences and will not be eligible for parole until 2034.

In 2014 British police arrested serial killer Stephen Port over the murders of several gay men. Port had used dating apps and websites to meet his victims. In 2016 he was given a whole life sentence over the murder of four young gay men.

The phone app Grindr lists a number of safety recommendations on it’s website. 

OIP Staff


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