A cooperative between Surry Hills Police and licensed venues around Oxford Street has been established, enabling an immediate response to anti-social behaviour and homophobia-related assaults.

Initiated by Stonewall Hotel director Craig Bell 10 weeks ago, the cooperative allows security guards at licensed premises to liaise with one another, and with police.

The participating premises, which include Stonewall Hotel, Arq, Kinselas, the Courthouse, the Oxford Hotel, Havana, the Columbian, the Brighton Arms Hotel, The Gaff Nightclub, Slide, the Burdekin and DCM, have installed two-way radios at the front door of their premises.

An employee at a central control room logs the correspondence between the security guards, and all necessary information is directed to police.

Two radios were donated to Surry Hills Police by Stonewall Hotel, with one being carried by the supervising police sergeant for the shift and another with the crew out on the beat.

When a person is ejected or rejected from a hotel or bar for anti-social behaviour or intoxication, Bell said, their description and the direction they are heading is radioed in. The two-way radios and the control room have been funded by the participating venues.

“If the person is ejected from somewhere, say from Stonewall, and they start heading towards the Columbian, the Columbian will be notified via the control room, and they will refuse entry to them as well,” he said.

“If anyone on the street feels that they are being harassed, intimidated or if they feel unsafe in any way, they should walk up to one of the security guards on the list and they will help immediately,” he said.

The security guards will be wearing a lime-green armband, making them easily identifiable to the public.

Bell is still awaiting a response from a number of venues, including the Taylor Square Hotel, Palms, the Midnight Shift, Gaslight Hotel, Oxford Art Factory, and the Exchange Hotel. Call Bell at Stonewall on 9360 1963 to take part in the program.

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