Liberal candidate for Brighton James Newbury
If Liberal candidate for Brighton James Newbury were to succeed in establishing a database of information on those stopped and questioned by Victoria Police, then my suspiciously Muslim profile would be on it. Late last year, I was surprised to leave the Arab grocery store near my home to find a police car parked on the street outside and a couple of officers standing as sentinels outside the door. I combed my memory for any suspicious activity they might have been investigating, only to discover that the suspicious individual in question was me. As the officers reminded me, I had jaywalked across the street on my way to the grocery store.
According to Newbury, this type of encounter between the police and a brown-skinned Muslim woman like me is the exactly kind of information that should be recorded and published in order to help my fellow Victorians sleep safely in their beds at night. Newbury is not advocating the collection of data for those who are charged (which is already undertaken), but for those who are stopped and questioned or interviewed by police. As he wrote in his op-ed for The Age, “people are increasingly incensed that a small minority of immigrants are committing some of the worst crimes. Victorians have big hearts, but they will not tolerate people who have no respect for the community that has welcomed them”.