Senior NSW Police have forced a “culture change” at Surry Hills, replacing the local commander and crime manager, assigning an inspector responsible to the gay and lesbian community, and renewing mandatory hate-crime training for local officers.

Supt Daryl Donnolley and Det Insp David Egan-Lee were moved on to make way for the new commander Donna Adney and crime manager Shane Woolbank, both from Ashfield, on Monday.

The new Surry Hills command will share responsibility for major events in the area, including Mardi Gras and those at Moore Park, in a strategy unveiled by Assistant Commissioner Catherine Burn.

“The change that you’re going to see is that we’re going to free up the command so it can concentrate on local crime and safety, rather always being involved with managing the cricket or the football,” Burn told SSO.

The re-established role of gay and lesbian community liaison will be lifted to that of a senior officer in the command, Burn said, because police were serious about the role’s importance and wanted to increase its profile.

“We’ll be nominating one of Surry Hill’s six inspectors to be the face of the [gay and lesbian] issues, get out into the community and make sure we have the right training,” she said.

“I’m told the day training [last year on identifying sexual preference prejudice crime] was positive. We will be expanding it on these issues. We want to incorporate that in the whole culture change.”

Burn brings a strategy of increasing police sensitivity to local cultural issues from her successful workings with the Aboriginal community while Redfern Commander.

“I think it’s good to have people from the community be involved,” she told SSO.

“When I was in Redfern that’s what I did with Aboriginal cultural awareness – people who were in the community got to come and talk about it. I’d expect a similar thing to happen.”

Incoming Commander Adney told SSO she would be part of the inspector’s initial meetings with the community so she could get to know those involved.

“I want to see the local crime environment with my own eyes, and work out what is actually happening, what’s the perception, how we do our business, and what needs to be improved,” Adney said.

A precinct committee meeting involving local community representatives will be arranged in the coming weeks, allowing strategies and concerns dismissed by Donnolley at two previous consultations to be reconsidered.

Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer training sessions will resume in April and a report into the program will be released by next month.

Sydney MP Clover Moore and ACON praised Burn’s initiatives just weeks into the regional command following meetings with her and Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens.

These developments follow SSO’s revelations of gay and lesbian victims being discouraged by local police from reporting violent crime, and questions from Police Minister David Campbell.

Donnolley was moved to police corporate management and Egan-Lee became Crime Manager at Parramatta. A police spokesman described the moves as rotational.

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