The Australian police are passing on the cost of policing to the wrong people

[…]??increasingly ?violent protests have been draining police numbers across the city.

People who hold legal, peaceful events that only become violent when they are gatecrashed by protestors who want to shut them down should not have to pay the cost of the police protecting them. If the Police handed out significant fines to protestors who damage property or who are violent they would easily cover their costs. People have a right to protest but they do not have a right to damage property, to be violent or to use things like rape whistles to prevent people who paid to listen to a speaker from hearing what he or she had to say.

Riot at Milo Yiannopoulos event in Melbourne, Australia

[…] protests across Melbourne have become violent, with police forced to use capsicum spray to separate groups outside an event for right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos.

His organisers have been sent a $50,000 bill for the time spent by up to 300 police officers at his speech this month.

Bottom line is that if there had been no violent, disruptive protestors there would have been no need for a police presence.

Protests in Coburg in May last year also descended into chaotic riots when anarchists clashed with right-wing activists.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said protests should always be peaceful, ?but some of the behaviour we?ve seen by these groups has been disgraceful?.

On the one hand the Police minister blames both sides for the behaviour but on the other hand, she wants to send a bill to the organisers of the legal event rather than the gatecrashers who chose to disrupt it. Once again if the protestors had allowed the other group who organised the event to exercise their right to freedom of speech there would have been no need for a police presence.

?It does take significant police time and resources ? that?s why on many occasions the organisers of events where protests occur have to pay. This is the same as when sporting or other events require a police presence and resources,? she said.

No, it is not the same as one is for crowd control whereas the other is political protestors who turn up with the sole intention of?disrupting a legal event and causing trouble. Imagine if an anti-Islam mob decided to ” protest” outside an Australian Mosque and blocked the exits and the entrances so that the people inside couldn’t get in or out. Imagine that they blew rape whistles and chanted so that the people gathered inside couldn’t hear their Imam preaching? Would the police charge the Muslims for the cost of protecting them as they conducted their legal business of gathering to listen to their Imam preach? Of course, they wouldn’t.

People who attend the events disrupted by these protestors often have to pay to purchase a ticket. I suggest the Police do not allow protestors access until they pay a contribution towards the required police presence. If they are violent or damage property they should be issued with instant fines on the day and should be charged as well. If the police start hitting the protestors in the wallet their enthusiasm for attempting to take away other people’s freedom of speech will soon wane. Expecting the event organisers to pay is unacceptable as it acts as a Heckler or Thugs veto making it too expensive for them to conduct their lawful business.