Premier Daniel Andrews faces mounting pressure to address Victoria's youth gang violence but insists police are making progress.
Years after groups of African youths joined the gangs which hit Melbourne streets, Mr Andrews said the latest plan to combat the violence has already produced results.
"We've seen some very nasty incidents in recent times," Mr Andrews said.
"But as someone who proudly lives in Melbourne's suburbs I am completely confident that (Chief Commissioner) Graham Ashton and Victoria Police ... are turning this around."
The violence has included riots, home invasions, armed robberies, assaults and attacks on police and prompted criticism of Victoria's leadership by the prime minister and federal government.
Public debate has exploded after African youths brawled with backpackers and robbed three Sri Lankans at St Kilda in December.
A week later teens ran riot and trashed a Werribee Airbnb property. On Boxing Day, an officer was assaulted at Highpoint shopping centre, teens were mugged and a woman was held hostage during a home invasion.
Four teenagers were arrested after the wild Werribee party-turned-riot and one 16-year-old was charged with aggravated burglary and criminal damage.
Police continue to investigate the other crimes.
Mr Andrews said he backed Victoria Police's efforts to tackle the problem, including a new community task force with African-Australians.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has criticised Mr Andrews for his handling of youth gangs and federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told a Sydney radio station people were too scared to go out for dinner in Melbourne.
Despite the warring commentary, the state and federal governments have not discussed the issue.
"He (Mr Turnbull) might feel the need to now raise these matters with me, having felt the need to rubbish Victoria Police, rubbish Melbourne, rubbish Victoria, that's what he's been doing," Mr Andrews said.
He added that he safely took his family out for dinner a number of times during his break.
Melbourne-based federal government frontbencher Kelly O'Dwyer continued the attack on Mr Andrews, labelling him a "menace" for failing to act.
"He's trying to blame everyone but himself but we know it's his weakening of the bail laws, it's his weakening of the sentencing laws and it's his weakening of the anti-gang laws that has led to this eruption of violent crime," she told reporters after detailing accounts of gangs terrorising her community.
State Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said he had been "inundated" with "hundreds" of emails by constituents saying how scared they were in the homes and on the streets.
"Yes it's not every street, it's not every suburb, but there are clearly parts of our city that are going through a gang crisis," he said.
On Wednesday Mr Ashton declared the state one of the world's safest places and said the new community taskforce will support police by providing information on emerging issues and hot spots, improving communication on crime prevention and reporting racial vilification.
South Sudanese leader and solicitor Kot Monoah said members of the community had been unfairly threatened and racially vilified.
In the outer western suburbs, Tarneit resident Arnav Sati has started an online petition calling for the government to "act now to stop Melbourne becoming a lawless land", attracting about 12,000 signatures by Thursday afternoon.