A forum to educate people on their legal rights when dealing with police was held last Thursday in response to the controversies over police conduct during Sydney Mardi Gras.

Co-hosted by gay health lobby group ACON and the Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC), the forum covered issues like sniffer dogs, strip searches, the use of recording equipment and how to lodge official complaints about police officers.

The forum comes after a community question-and-answer session with representatives from NSW Police in March that saw almost 300 people vent their anger over police behaviour at Mardi Gras and other gay events.

ICLC director Dan Stubbs said the forum provided valuable advice on how to make a complaint if people feel the behaviour of police has been inappropriate, unethical or illegal.

“Some of the policing practices which concerned community members during Mardi Gras include alleged homophobic and abusive behaviour, incidents of possibly illegal searches, inappropriate use of drug detection dogs, and coercive conduct designed to intimidate and humiliate people,” Stubbs said.

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