The Minister for Police saw first hand the situation in Oxford Street and Taylor Square last Friday night/Saturday morning.
“I invited the Minister for Police to see Oxford Street and Taylor Square first hand following an invitation to “walk the Street” with drag performer Maxi Shield who has been the City of Sydney’s Oxford Street Safety Ambassador,” Ms Moore said.
“Residents continue to report assaults, robberies and anti-social behaviour associated with larger late night licensed premises. There are ongoing reports of serious problems and people tell me that they fear for their safety. There is under-reporting of homophobic assaults and oral abuse.
“I met with the Minister and Regional Commander in June to push for action including more police and a strong visible police presence on the streets late at night; a full time inner city Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer to work with the community and ensure police work effectively with the gay community; a strategic response to homophobic violence including education in schools; and effective licensing enforcement.
“The Minister saw the large numbers of people coming into the area – up to 10,000 people each Friday and Saturday night. He heard from the community about being spat on, orally abused and assaulted,” Ms Moore said.
“The Minister told me that Surry Hills has more officers and will get more Licensing police. He said that NSW Police would hold a policy forum with the gay and lesbian community as part of its review of the Police Gay and Lesbian Strategy.
“The City’s Oxford Street Safety Strategy has provided CCTV cameras, better cleansing, upgraded lighting and increased patrols by City Rangers. We saw Council staff cleaning the streets at 9.00pm and again after midnight,” Ms Moore said.
The Strategy commits Council to enforcing safer design features in new buildings, expanding Licensing Accords and managing queues outside nightclubs. It includes free self-defence workshops, security officer training, and support for the "Safe Place" program to reduce homophobic violence and abuse.
The City’s draft Development Control Plan (DCP) for Night Trading Premises aims to balance the needs and expectations of residents, patrons and operators of late trading premises.
“I am meeting with the Surry Hills Police Commander to push for joint patrols with Council Rangers and a Memorandum of Understanding with Council,” Ms Moore concluded.
Related information: | Media |