Sudanese community leader Deng Thiak Adut has called for calm over the alleged sexual assault of a teenage girl by six men in Doonside last week.
The criminal lawyer was one of the community leaders who met Blacktown police commander Superintendent Gary Merryweather after the incident to allay racial tension.
The 14-year-old victim is of Pacific Islander background while the men accused of the attack are described as being of African appearance in their teens or early 20s.
Mr Deng told the Sun that police should be allowed to do their job and called on residents to stop making senseless attacks on a particular community.
He said they should look at it as a criminal act by individuals rather than their community.
‘‘No one from any community will support such a horrific act on a young girl, irrespective of her background,’’ he said.
‘‘A crime is a crime no matter what background the offenders come from.
‘‘Their community should not be blamed for the act.’’
He said while the two communities had been in conflict in the past, the latest incident was a more serious crime.
Mr Deng said he had advised disaffected youths he found congregating in Blacktown’s CBD at night to go home after his meeting with police.
‘‘I saw Pacific Islander teens, Sudanese and Caucasians consuming alcohol together or in groups there.
‘‘They don’t represent those from Sudan or the Pacific islands or white Australians.’’
Superintendent Gary Merryweather said police would be increasing “high visibility patrols’’ of the area in the wake of the alleged attack.
He said police were working with community members to re-enforce community values and harmony across the local area.