Police arrested 28 people for incidents during and after this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade that drew an estimated 300,000 spectators last night.
Police praised parade spectators for their generally good behaviour, but were still concerned about glass being brought into the precinct.
Assistant Commissioner Catherine Burn said the majority of spectators enjoyed the atmosphere of the parade, and this could partly be attributed to the alcohol-free zone being in place in Oxford Street.
Most people came along to have a good time, and the large crowd in Oxford Street certainly did,” she said.
While the spectators and participants enjoyed a relatively incident-free night along the parade route, there were a number of incidents of anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related crime that occurred in Hyde Park and the surrounding area during and after the parade.
There appeared to be an increase of bottles and glass containers throughout Hyde Park.
It’s a concern because it significantly increases the risk of injury to revellers and participants.
Most of the 28 arrests were in the Hyde Park area.
Some of the offences include assault, indecent assault, offensive behaviour, offensive language, assault police, resist arrest, robbery and malicious wounding. Â Police were also forced to break up a number of brawls in the park and nearby.
In addition, a licensing operation carried out resulted in a range of infringement notices being issued.
These include; 10 licensing breaches against three establishments, four security related breaches, six offences of supplying minors with alcohol, and 17 minors possessing or consuming alcohol, 74 vehicles were towed from Special Event Clearways.
All people were dispersed from Hyde Park by police just after 12.30am to prevent further incidents occurring.
The police operation comprised more than 800 police including general duties officers and specialist units including the highway patrol, Mounted Police, Public Order and Riot Squad and Polair.
Assistant Commissioner Burn said while the parade itself is a major operation, the clean up and removal of barriers is just as significant.
We need to be able to move everyone out of the area so the Sydney CBD can be cleaned and back to normal as soon as possible, she said.
The NSW Police Force had a contingent of officers who marched in the parade -” a regular audience favourite.
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