Police and community forum set for next week
Senior police will join Sydney MP Alex Greenwich and other LGBTQI community representatives at a community forum in Sydney on Thursday March 14 to discuss policing practices at this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras and start to develop a plan to improve policing at future Sydney Mardi Gras festivals and events.
The forum is in response to two specific cases of alleged police brutality and other anecdotal incidents of police heavy-handedness throughout the festival.
“This is about bringing the police and community together to build a way forward and make sure the incidences that happened at this year’s Mardi Gras don’t happen again,” Greenwich told SX.
People attending the forum will be able to make suggestions as to how policing the Mardi Gras can be improved to benefit Mrdi Gras patrons as well as police.
“This forum will provide a valuable opportunity for people and organisations affected by these issues to have a full and open discussion about how we can move forward as a community to improve the situation and ensure Sydney Mardi Gras remains the incredible celebration of community, diversity and acceptance which inspires so many people from all over the world,” Greenwich said.
Mardi Gras co-chair Siri Kommedahl said it was an opportunity for people to express their views and share their own stories.
“We need a unified and strong response to these incidents, and action from the police and government at the highest level is required to ensure that enforcers of the law engage with members of our communities in a respectful and courteous manner in the future,” Kommedahl said.
ACON President Mark Orr says issues brought up at the forum will form the basis for an ongoing dialogue with the police and government.
“Improving the safety and security of members of our communities is fundamental to the mission every LGBTQI community organisation as well as the NSW Police Force and we look forward to the contribution that this community forum will make towards that goal,” he said.
The forum will take place on Thursday March 14 at 7pm at the Police Auditorium, 151 Goulburn St Surry Hills.