Police have reported a safe Gay Games for Sydney, with increased beat policing around Oxford Street contributing to a low crime rate in the area over the past week.
Surry Hills Police Inspector Phil Salt told Sydney Star Observer the department was extremely pleased with the behaviour of crowds in the Oxford Street area, and confirmed there has been no increase in reported crime in the area since the Games began.
Every day we have up to six extra police on the street and that runs through 24 hours a day, Salt said. I think that is contributing to a safer and more friendly environment. It’s a great result for the city.
Gay and lesbian liaison officers (GLLOs) set up in a stall at the Gay Games Hub in Hyde Park have also attracted attention from international visitors curious about the role of GLLOs in the community.
People are asking us what the hell we are doing here, because we have a lot of people from overseas that have a bit of a different culture and they’re not used to seeing anything like gay and lesbian liaison officers, so we’ve been explaining who we are and how we look after the community, Senior Constable Maryann Dobson, one of the GLLOs stationed at the Hub, told the Star.
We have had a tremendous response from people at the Hub. Every one seems to be in a great mood.
Gay Games CEO Judith Fletcher told the Star that crowd sizes at the Hub have been growing steadily over the last few days, after a quiet start earlier in the week.
Its popularity has gone up on a bit of an exponential curve with people finishing off their events and heading down to catch the entertainment on the open stage, Fletcher said.
We thought long and hard about whether running the Hub was the right thing to do, but now we see that it was a great idea.