Less than 24 hours after the Australian state of Victoria banned the public display of the swastika, a swastika was spray painted on a Melbourne police station.
Victoria Police told Perth Now that the vandalism took place on August 29 at Emerald police station located in the Dandenong Ranges in an outer part of Melbourne.
A police spokesperson stated that an investigation has been opened into the swastika, painted on a sign post outside the building.
A since deleted Facebook post of the Nazi graffiti carried the caption “I think we’ve all had enough.”
Dvir Abramovichm, the chair of the Anti-Defamation Commission, said in a press release that “this is a hate crime, pure and simple.”
“To deface a police station with the world’s most evil symbol, representing the extermination of six million Jews and millions of others, is one of the ugliest and most outrageous acts I have seen,” he said. “This brazen outburst of extremism is beyond shameful and crosses so many red lines that it must be met with the strongest condemnation possible.”
He added: “Words matter and can lead to violence, and I hope that those individuals, who took the time to deliberately express their vicious bigotry are identified and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Victoria’s new law banning public displays of the swastika is part of a comprehensive package of reforms designed to eliminate “hateful behavior” and discrimination based on race, religion, orientation, illness, or disability.
The ban on displaying Nazi symbols comes in part due to the government’s recognition that there has been a recent rise in neo-Nazi activity, leading to more “hate behavior.”