Talkback radio hosts and public office holders should avoid damaging racial stereotypes and fearmongering when discussing street crime, according to Adelaide Catholic Communications Director Matthew Abraham.
   Responding to assertions that 'Asian youths' are those most likely to carry knives used in recent stabbings, he said: "Generally, the people committing these crimes are Australians. If we attach an 'Asian' label, we are guilty of committing a 'crime' of a different nature in fuelling racial stereotyping which whips up xenophobia.
   "The problem of street violence, is a crime problem, not an 'Asian problem' and should be treated as such."
   Referring to reported comments by one Adelaide City councillor that Adelaide's city crime problem was "becoming more like New York", he said public office holders also had a responsibility to keep a sense of perspective when tackling crime issues.
   He said: "Adelaide remains one of the safest cities in the world. By blowing crime incidents out of proportion, we run the risk of creating a siege mentality where ordinary people are afraid to venture out from behind their security screens and brush fences, ensuring the problem of street crime, worsens, not improves."
   Cath Comm (Adelaide)

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