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Operation Rothbury concludes following Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2017

Sunday, 05 March 2017 02:47:50 AM

Police are pleased with overall crowd behaviour following this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.

Operation Rothbury, a high-visibility policing operation, was in place for the event that saw more than 1000 police out on patrol across the parade route and surrounding areas.

The operation comprised General Duties officers who were assisted by the Public Order and Riot Squad, Operations Support Group, Mounted Unit, Dog Unit, PolAir, Licensing Police, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, and Police Transport Command.

More than 12,000 parade participants and 185 floats marched along Liverpool, Oxford and Flinders Streets in a colourful celebration of diversity during the 39th annual event.

NSW Police also took part in the parade; marking more than two decades since the organisation was first represented.

Operation Rothbury Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell, said police worked closely with event organisers in the lead up to the parade to ensure a safe and successful night for everyone involved.

“There was a great deal of collaboration between stakeholders with a shared focus on delivering a safe and fun Mardi Gras for 2017, and I’m pleased to report this was achieved with few exceptions,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Crandell said.

“Wet weather didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits with thousands of people attending to show their support for the event, the majority of whom were on their best behaviour.

“While there were a minority who refused to heed police advice, they were quickly identified and dealt with accordingly,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Crandell said.

Police arrested a small number of people for offences including assault, malicious damage, drug possession, and refusing to comply with police directions.

Operation Rothbury officers, including specialist police from the Dog Unit, also conducted an operation at the parade’s after party; during which they conducted more than 50 person searches.

Police subsequently arrested 15 people over alleged drug possession, three were charged for allegedly supplying illicit drugs, and six were issues cannabis cautions.

In addition, NSW Ambulance Paramedics transported about 30 people to hospital regarding a range of medical incidents; however, alcohol and drugs played a significant role in a number of cases.

Extensive road closures were put in place to facilitate the parade; and, while a small number remain in place, major roads have been successfully reopened.

For up-to-date details on road closures and the latest traffic conditions, visit www.livetraffic.com.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Crandell said police were encouraged by the behaviour of crowds as they made their way home or to other venues after the parade.

“Most revellers maintained a very positive attitude and the few incidence of misbehaviour around licensed premises were quickly dealt with by police and security,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Crandell said.

“Those utilising public transport as you make your way home; remember the services are there for everyone to use so be respectful and look out for one another.

“Police Transport Command officers will also be travelling across the network to ensure revellers arrive home safely,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Crandell said.

“The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras once again proved to be a first-class event, and we look forward to marking the 40th anniversary of the parade in 2018.”