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Letters


State Supervision Under The Guise Of Protection D


ear Beast, I would like to raise the question of the justification for the scale of the police presence at Bronte Park on Christmas Day. The police attitude towards our community is a subtle but important reflection of how our society functions. I took a photo at 10.00am on Christmas morning with ten fully armed uniformed police patrolling Bronte Park. The scene was an extraordinary display of heavy handed policing with three police next to the tram shed entrance and three pairs of police walking amongst picnic blankets in the park supervising the public.


Alcohol is not banned in the park, only the beach, so what kind of behaviour would the police decide warranted possible arrest in the park on Christmas morning? Too much brandy sauce on our pudding? Someone pulling a loud cracker and causing a disturbance?


People enjoying themselves on picnic rugs obviously need police supervision in case the day turns


into a drunken riot.


This was in my opinion a ridiculous passive-aggressive display by the police. There is a huge difference between community policing on Christmas morning and overbearing police supervision of the public. What also is sad is the community’s acceptance by stealth of this kind of policing. Is this the 21st Century Australia that we wish to experience, with ten armed police watching a family park for possible drunks on Christmas morning? The police at Waverley informed me this was an operation involving Bondi and other beaches to keep backpackers under control. Hordes of drunken backpackers were apparently poised to cause havoc on Christmas morning in Bronte Park!!


As everyone including the police should know, there is a big difference between the police supervising public behaviour at Bondi Beach and the activities in Bronte Park.


A couple of police subtly situated somewhere in the park environs is one thing, however armed police walking amongst the BBQs and picnic blankets is an exaggerated police action that in my opinion seriously threatens the relaxed good will of our community. Other unfortunate parts of the world suffer this kind of police, now Bronte. The reactionary reply that I will be happy when I need the police misses the point, no doubt the more police the better irrespective of the supposed threat is the attitude of such individuals. That however is not the Bronte community that I have experienced in the past or believe is necessary for our well being.


If this is a new police reality it needs our political representatives to immediately address the issues of our community rights and our freedom of assembly without state supervision under the guise of police protection. David Chambers, Bronte


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