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Union calls for permanent police riot squad

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 23 February 2004


New South Wales police in the inner-Sydney suburb of Redfern will meet today amid claims officers were ill-equipped to properly respond to last week's riot.

About 40 police were injured during the riot when about 100 people threw bricks and Molotov cocktails after the death of Aboriginal teenager Thomas Hickey.

It has been claimed that police were chasing the 17-year-old when he became impaled on a fence, a claim which police deny.

NSW Police Association representative for Redfern, Paul Huxtable, says a permanent squad needs to be formed to help handle these types of incidents.

"We're manifestly overwhelmed and that's one of the issues that will be raised today," Mr Huxtable said.

"We need a permanent tactical response 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, not just in Redfern but across the whole city to respond to incidents that happen like this."

Meanwhile, a woman accused of taking part in the riot at Redfern in Sydney last week is expected to face court today.

The 46-year-old has been charged with several offences including riot, affray and throwing missiles.

She has been refused bail and is expected to face Sydney's Central Local Court today.

She is the fifth person to be charged over the incident.


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