31 Mar 2023 By theguardian
The location of a Sunshine Coast home destroyed in a suspected vigilante arson attack on Wednesday had been identified in dozens of social media posts calling for violence against three girls accused of seriously assaulting another girl.
Early on Wednesday morning a property at Tewantin, understood to be the scene of the alleged assault, was destroyed by fire.
Police investigating the arson attack said on Thursday they were also looking into racist flyers distributed in the area near the home, which list the name of a neo-Nazi group. The flyers depict two of the girls and contain a racial slur.
The Tewantin property, owned by the Queensland department of housing, was unoccupied when it burned down on Wednesday.
Police said there had been several attempts to start fires at the Tewantin property in recent days and other instances of vandalism.
It followed social media posts identifying the home as the location of the assault and deprivation of liberty of a 13-year-old girl.
Mansfield said police had been doing regular patrols of the street in recent days. He said the threat of vigilantism was being treated seriously.
There have been increasing concerns about vigilantism in Queensland, particularly amid a heightened environment relating to youth crime.