Who pays for police at the new Oxford Street Safe Place? According to Lord Mayor Clover Moore, she can’t. But NSW Police say there is nothing stopping her.

Supplementary police are often hired by commercial events to improve crowd safety. The hirer pays for the officer’s overtime with the consent of the local commander.

At the launch of the City-funded Safe Place Moore said, NSW Police policy specifically prevents the City and other local councils from paying directly for police.

But a spokeswoman from the Police Minister’s office said it was not unheard of for councils to use the service.

Councils are required to integrate such requests with broader crime prevention and community safety plans where possible, but there’s nothing that says they can’t enter in that arrangement, the spokeswoman said.

The cost for Thursday to Saturday nights over five months could come to $250,000, Moore estimated, but was a State responsibility.

I know that Sutherland Shire Council and others over the last few years have put resources into the local area command to supplement policing and pay for extra overtime, Liberal councillor Shayne Mallard said.

Mallard and Arq owner Shadd Danesi are among those calling for the City of Sydney to contribute more than a shopfront they couldn’t fill.

There is no specific police policy stopping Council using that system to help prevent the homophobic violence on Oxford St. She’s been caught out in a lie, Danesi said.

Mallard said the local commander should be applauded for increasing police presence on the strip.

It’s probably as a result of the pressure the Council and community has been applying. I’d like to see that sustained all the way through till Mardi Gras, he said.

Officers work five days on and five days off, and often they have a second job. They don’t mind doing overtime, it’s just a budget issue.

Have your say: Who should pay for Safe Place Police, City of Sydney or State Government?

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