One man is in an induced coma at St Vincent’s Hospital and two men are facing court following another weekend of violence on the once-Golden Mile.
Senseless and opportunistic could describe the Oxford St attacks that don’t appear to be alcohol-related or directly homophobic, rather a culture where thuggery and drugs prevail.
The first altercation on Sunday morning took place between two strangers in front of a fast food outlet on the strip.
Police claimed a man parked in a Hyundai Getz began verbally insulting the victim before getting out of the vehicle, punching him to the ground and fleeing.
The next day Miranda police arrested and charged a 21-year-old Umina man at Kurnell with the assault.
Later that evening a 22-year-old woman from New York was mugged walking along Brisbane St between Oxford St and Harmony Park by a man allegedly armed with a pair of scissors.
A group of onlookers came to her defence but the attacker fled, police claim.
A man carrying a pair of scissors and a small amount of cannabis was arrested by Kings Cross police after a description of the attacker was circulated via police radio. The man has been charged with robbery and possession of a prohibited drug.
NSW Police declined to comment further on the assaults or arrests.
ACON president Mark Orr said he was concerned about any and all levels of violence in the Oxford St precinct because it was home to a large segment of the GLBT community and any violence impacts on residents and visitors.
Violence begets violence and we don’t want to see these problems escalating any further and turning Oxford St and the surrounding areas into a place which attracts ever more violent behaviour. We’re working closely with local police and the City of Sydney on a range of projects and programs to address the issue of violence generally and homophobic violence in particular.
For example, we’re very concerned at the number of fast food outlets opening on the strip that operate late at night, allowing people to sober up and then continue drinking or just keeping people hanging around on the footpath. This behaviour presents a threat to the safety of residents and visitors to the area and we support police efforts to curb this level of activity.
New police minister Tony Kelly first rode into the NSW upper house on an anti-gun law and order offensive, but even without deadly weapons assaults on Oxford St show no sign of slowing.
Kelly said he was honoured to be taking on the role of police minister and would ensure officers had the resources and support they needed to continue the good work they are already doing.
It will also be my job to ensure the trust and confidence people rightly have in the NSW police force is maintained in the future, he told reporters.
A poll of starobserver.com.au readers last week said they preferred independent Sydney MP Clover Moore to take over the government law and order portfolio.