A FIFTEEN-year-old boy will be formally cautioned by NSW police for allegedly threatening to harm an LGBTI venue and its patrons.
On Thursday July 14, a licensed venue – which has not been identified by police – received a “threatening and disturbing” phone call.
The hotel licensee contacted police who identified the 15-year-old and he admitted to Surry Hills detectives he made the threatening telephone call as some sort of a joke.
NSW police officers are taking seriously any threats or actions designed to hurt or intimidate members or the LGBTI community in NSW, whether individually or collectively.
According to NSW Police, “the seriousness of the situation was impressed upon the boy and his parents given his commission of an offence under Section 474.17 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 – using a carriage service to menace, harass, or cause offence”.
The Young Offenders Act requires police to deal with this matter under diversionary provisions. As a result Surry Hills detectives arranged for a Formal Caution to be delivered to the boy by Quakers Hill Police on a date to be fixed.
Superintendent Tony Crandell told Star Observer he could not reveal the specific threats made in the telephone call, but it did contain threats to harm members of the LGBTI community.
“This incident is of most concern to me because I think the LGBTI world is more vulnerable in light of the Orlando attack,” he said.
“Without question the LGBTI community is experiencing increased fears and concerns following the murder of innocent people in Orlando.
“The world has terrorism to contend with and requires the utmost vigilance from police agencies across NSW, Australia and worldwide. We need to make sure that intelligence from people on the ground is solid because forewarning will give us the greatest chance of intercepting any planned attack upon the LGBTI community.”
Supt Crandell said NSW Police does not have evidence of an increase in bias crimes or threats related to LGBTI people either within Sydney or across other areas of NSW, but urges people to relate any kind of threat to the community.
“I would ask the community to continue reporting acts and behaviour considered to be unusual or suspicious at LGBTI venues,” he said.
“This is why our relationship is so important, police protection (is needed) to ensure the safest possible environment can only be enhanced with community trust, confidence and cooperation. We remain very mindful of the Orlando attack and want to ensure that our response is as efficient and effective as possible.”