Police warn Mardi Gras revellers of homophobic attacks
Sydney police have warned LGBT residents of the city to take care during Mardi Gras season, due to a number of reported bashings.
The annual celebrations started last week and continue throughout February and March – with the main parade taking place on March 5.
New South Wales Police have taken the attacks to warn festival goers to take extra precautions when attending events – even in areas that are deemed to be safe.
One assault, which is believed to be connected to the others, occurred on Sunday.
A 22-year-old man was punched and kicked until he fell to the ground and lost consciousness. When he woke he was attacked again.
Detectives have said that they believe the man’s sexuality was the reason for the assault.
Another incident involved two men being attacked with this also believed to be connected to sexuality.
Police spokesman on sexuality and gender diversity, Superintendent Tony Crandell, said the timing of the attacks, was something that caused concern.
“The occurrence of two bias-related assaults over one weekend is not common, and of concern to police,” he told reporters.
“There is much more visibility on the streets, rainbow flags flying and an increase in community members going out at night to celebrate Mardi Gras festival activities.
“Unfortunately, this can also be a drawcard for those who seek to abuse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.”