By Andy Young, editor TheShout
Police in New South Wales will be increasing their presence on Sydney’s streets after increased violence over the weekend.
Several incidents made headlines over the weekend, including a large brawl outside the Metro Theatre at 4am on Sunday. Although some reports initially claimed up to 200 people were involved, police have said that was “over-exaggerated” putting the number close to 30, which they understand to be from a single group.
Despite the incidents occurring within the lockout area, NSW minister for justice and police, Troy Grant, is still maintaining that the state’s lockout laws are effective.
“All available evidence suggests the laws we introduced in 2014 have led to a significant reduction in alcohol-fuelled violence,” Grant said. “Disgraceful incidents like [Saturday] night unfortunately do occur and the police are well equipped to deal with the thugs involved.”
Police have said that numbers will be increased in the city in response to the weekend’s violence.
Steve Hodges, the Sydney City Local Area Command’s acting inspector, called on patrons to more responsible with their alcohol intake and their behaviour.
“There are a large number of licensed premises in the city, those premises attract a lot of people and these sort of incidents happen as a result,” Hodges said.
“Have a good night but try to restrict the amount you do drink — have a good night as opposed to a violent night.”
Sydney’s lockout laws were introduced in 2014 and are currently being reviewed by former High Court judge Ian Callinan QC. The industry has been protesting the laws with a fresh protest march planned.
Image care of The Metro Theatre Facebook page.