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Melbourne Bourke St Victims’ Families Demand Change

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Victoria Police cannot let its coronial lashing over Melbourne’s deadly Bourke Street Mall rampage become another missed opportunity, victims’ families say. Coroner Jacqui Hawkins has made nine recommendations aimed at preventing a repeat of James Gargasoulas’ attack that killed six people and injured 27 others on January 20, 2017. These include a review of police approaches to bail for high-risk and repeat offenders, the recording of after-hours hearings with bail justices and better training for officers. An inquest found systematic failures by police contributed to the perfect storm that allowed Gargasoulas to manipulate the situation. “It is agonising that despite the escalating events of the previous days and the scores of police members actively engaged in attempting to stop him, such a violent, drug-fuelled, psychotic and delusional perpetrator was able to slip through the cracks,” Hawkins said. The killer was arrested and then released on bail six days before using …

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