Police praise Mardi Gras revellers’ conduct at Parade
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Alan Clarke has praised the large crowds assembled at this year’s Mardi Gras Parade for delivering a celebratory event free from major issues.
Over 300,000 people braved the rain to descend upon Oxford Street and its surrounds to watch the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. A 10,000 strong parade passed by – with 144 floats delivering a kaleidoscope of colour.
Police conducted a highly visible operation – Operation Tacoma – with some 700 officers patrolling the parade route to ensure a safe and secure event.
Operation Tacoma Commander, Assistant Commissioner Alan Clarke, said police worked closely with event organisers to make the night safe and fun for everyone.
“Our aim was to ensure a safe and secure environment in which to celebrate the event and I’m pleased we were able to deliver that without many major issues,” Clarke said.
“Thousands of people headed into the city to celebrate Mardi Gras this year and for the most part, people were on their best behaviour.”
Unfortunately a small number of people refused to heed police warnings and were removed from the event. 16 people were arrested during the parade for a range of offences including stealing, breach of bail, drink-driving, drug-driving and assault.
NSW Ambulance Paramedics and further medical volunteer staff treated 58 patients for a range of injuries; however alcohol and drugs played a significant role in a number of these incidents.
With the parade taking place on the first weekend of Sydney’s new lockout laws, further police were in force in the CBD Entertainment Precinct to target alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour.
Officers from the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) were also on hand to enforce the new alcohol laws including the 1.30am lockouts and last drinks at 3am. Officers conducted over 120 business inspections with five banning notices issued and three applications for long term banning notices. Police did not detect any breaches of lockout or takeaway alcohol sales.
12 people were arrested within the precincts for offences relating to assault police, affray, resist arrest, breach of bail, assault and drug offences. Five people were fined for fail to quit.
In addition, four people were taken to the Sydney City Sobering Up Centre for assistance.
Assistant Commissioner Clarke said police were encouraged by the behaviour of crowds as they made their way home or to other venues after the parade.
“Despite the rain, most people maintained a positive attitude and celebratory spirit as they moved from Oxford Street to transport hubs or other venues around Sydney,” Clarke said.
“While there were some incidences of violence around licensed premises, police and security were quick to intervene and prevent serious injuries.
“Once again, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade has made its way through the streets of Sydney with flair and celebrated safely,” Assistant Commissioner Clarke said.