Keeping drug dealers and users on their toes with sniffer dogs will remain part of NSW Police’s strategy to clean up Oxford St, but the gay population isn’t being specifically targeted.
We will continue to use all sorts of strategies including drug dogs. Sometimes we’ll tell you [they’re coming] and sometimes we won’t, new Surry Hills Commander Donna Adney told SSO.
If saying we’re going to do drug dog operations causes people to not take drugs and not walk around with them, that’s a good thing and it might also achieve something from a health point of view.
No sniffer dogs were used at gay venues or dance parties over the Easter weekend, but more than 800 ecstasy tablets with a street value of $35,000 were seized on Saturday following a break and enter callout to a Surry Hills apartment.
Adney said drugs and the associated crime were a significant problem for the area, and users of party drugs wouldn’t be let off the hook.
Drugs lead to a whole range of specific crime categories. There’s only one sort of drug for a police officer and that’s a prohibited drug, she said.
Complaints the gay community was being targeted were posted on SSO’s forums following high profile drug busts at dance parties last year, but police denied singling out a population group.
Oxford St is an entertainment and social strip for thousands of members of all different parts of Sydney, Adney said.
It’s unfair to say that if the police conduct a drug dog operation on Oxford St that we’re targeting the gay and lesbian community. What we are targeting is anybody that wants to participate in crime, which is the possession or distribution of prohibited drugs.
Meanwhile, a man was stabbed several times in the back streets of Surry Hills on Thursday night and taken to St Vincent’s Hospital with a collapsed lung.
The 32-year-old was walking along Sophia Lane when approached and attacked by another man.
Police want to speak with a man described as about 30-years-old, olive complexion, medium build with short brown hair and wearing a blue t-shirt; and urged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.