The police will make their presence known over the Sleaze Ball weekend. There will be a heavy police presence throughout the city and Surry Hills areas from Friday through to Monday afternoon, police corporate spokeswoman Donna Adney has confirmed.
“To make sure you have an enjoyable long weekend in the city, plan ahead, think about how you are going to get to and from your destination, don’t use, possess or supply prohibited drugs and don’t drink too much,” she warned.
“Surry Hills will be conducting licensing and drug detection dog operations over the weekend. When approached by a police officer the person being spoken to should listen to the police and follow the intstructions given.
“Everyone needs to remember that possession, supply and administration of prohibited drugs are offences in NSW and police will take action where those offences are detected.”
In the event of being approached by a sniffer dog, the NSW Council for Civil Liberties has reminded people to remain calm and polite. You have the right to ask for the officer’s name, rank and station if you are approached. If you are found to have drugs, you must provide your name and address.
If you do not have drugs on you and you are still asked for your name and address, the Council suggests cooperating and making a complaint at a later time.
If the dog touches you or you believe the police have been aggressive or used unnecessary force, you can complain to the Ombudsman or speak to someone at the NSW Council of Civil Liberties.
Positive Life NSW and ACON reminded anyone in need of medication to, wherever possible, bring documentation and keep drugs in their original containers.
“When you come through the gate, ask to speak to a New Mardi Gras medical team member,” a spokesman said. “They will take you aside and discuss your medications discreetly.
“These discussion are private and confidential. Once they confirm the medication is legitimate, you will be allowed into the venue with the medication.”
Surry Hills Senior Constable Nigel Calcutt warned revellers to be aware of safety issues when travelling to and from the event.
“Avoid dimly-lit areas, back alleys, etc and try to walk in groups,” he said. “Trust your gut feeling and instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, move on.”
People are encouraged to cover up costumes on the way to and from venues.
“If you meet someone while out partying, introduce your new mate to other friends. SMS friends the location you’re attending with your new mate,” Calcutt advised.
“Make sure your friends know where you are going if you leave the party, and who you’re with. Phones are a great way for quickly recording some details and then you can SMS these to a trusted friend. You may even take a quick photo with your new mate and send it to your trusted friends — whatever makes you feel safe.”

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