Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart says the recent murders of international students in Brisbane were cases of horrible misfortune.
The murder of French student Sophie Collombet has struck fear into the hearts of Brisbane residents, Queensland’s police commissioner admits.
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said Ms Collombet’s murder last month and the November killing of 22-year-old Korean student Eunji Ban, in a central Brisbane park, were cases of horrible misfortune.
“It wouldn’t have mattered who walked into the path of those offenders – on both these occasions,” he said.
A 25-year-old man appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with the murder, rape, deprivation of liberty and robbery of the 21-year-old Griffith University business student at Kurilpa Park almost a fortnight ago.
Mr Stewart said Ms Collombet’s murder had scared the community.
“It’s that type of event that does strike fear into the hearts of people,” he told reporters in Brisbane on Wednesday.
“We are a very, very large city and I ask people to please work with the police department to make it safe, as safe as humanely possible.”
Ms Collombet’s murder at the edge of the busy South Bank precinct, across the river from Brisbane’s city centre, marks the fourth murder of a foreign student in Brisbane since November.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey said Brisbane was still a safe place, despite the murders.
“That’s a bit of a misperception … trying to link those particular issues into … overall safety,” he told reporters.
“Brisbane’s a safe city. Queensland’s a safe state.
“Whilst tragedies happen, you have to look into the reality of individual cases.”