• Happy cops on the beat (photo by Barbara Mc Grady) (Julie Nimmo)Source: Julie Nimmo
Dubbo’s police force has praised Koori Knockout attendees for being ‘perfectly behaved’ amid record visitor numbers to the Indigenous rugby carnival and sweltering temperatures over the October long weekend.
By
Yasmin Noone, NITV

6 Oct 2015 - 2:58 PM  UPDATED 6 Oct 2015 - 4:18 PM

This year’s Koori Knockout was one of the most successful ever held, drawing record crowds of 48,000 “perfectly behaved” patrons with not a single arrest made on or around the grounds at Caltex Park over the long weekend, Dubbo Police have confirmed.

Inspector Dan Skelly from Dubbo Police reported that there were no negative incidents over the entire course of the knockout.

All in all, he said, the knockout provided a “good atmosphere”.

“The crowd was perfectly behaved,” said Inspector Skelly from the Orana Local Area Command.

“…There was no yahooing. There were only a few minor incidents but no one was ejected or arrested. It was a very good result.”

 

Inspector Skelly said the 2015 knockout was bigger than previous years with current calculations estimating that 48,000 people went through the turnstiles at Caltex Park from Saturday to Monday inclusive.

Local police also confirmed there was a peak crowd on Saturday of 18,000 spectators.

“It was the biggest event ever for Caltex Park.”

Inspector Skelly said there were 25 specifically tasked members of the local police force on duty, patrolling Caltex Park over the course of the long weekend. 

“It is an annual event and traditionally wherever it is held, it has drawn large crowds,” he said.

“So there was a lot of planning and police resources put forward to cope with the size and the significance of the event.”

Police reports of a well-behaved knockout crowd stand in contrast to the content of a Department of Families and Community Services’ (FACS) letter that was sent to social housing residents in the lead up to the carnival, which sought to forewarn social housing residents against getting into trouble.

The letter, dubbed racist and condescending by many, reminded social housing residents that they were bound by a 'good neighbour policy' and detailed the need to call police for advice if a situation got out of hand.

NITV and other media reported that local residents were offended by the letter. Residents said it wrongly assumed social housing tenants were irresponsible when a large event was held in town.

They said they had not received a similar government letter for previous major events held throughout Dubbo.

 

Although there were no specific incidents due to unruly behaviour from patrons around Caltex Park or leaving the grounds, Inspector Skelly said local police were currently investigating one unrelated matter.

Inspector Skelly said local police were calling on members of the community to assist with enquiries into a sexual assault that occurred around 1:00am on Sunday in Brisbane Street, the same street of the police station, in Dubbo.

“Police are seeking the assistance of a male about medium height wearing a grey football jumper and sporting a beard to be able to assist with enquiries,” he said.

“We are also appealing for anyone who witnessed the interaction between a female and the person described on or about Brisbane Street on the early hours of Sunday morning.”

For more information or to respond to the police call out for assistance, contact Dubbo Police direct on 02 6883 1599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


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