PrideVis initiative to improve security for Oxford Street


Adam Worling, Anthony Metcalfe, Shane Warren, Richie Haines, Glenn Hansen and Keira Billie. Photo: Supplied.

A new street security initiative aimed at improving inclusivity and safety has been introduced in the heart of Sydney’s Rainbow Precinct just in time for Sydney Pride Month.
 
Bars and pubs along Oxford Street have come together in a united front against homophobia and transphobia by encouraging security staff across the precinct to wear “PrideVis” security vests. 
 
The PrideVis vests are a safety initiative by the Surry Hills Liquor Accord supported by the City of Sydney, NSW Police, the Oxford Street Pride Business Charter and the Rainbow Precinct.
 
Featuring Progress Pride rainbow flag emblems, the vests are a symbol for safe spaces, and security guards wearing them can be approached with safety issues or concerns.
 
The vests also signal to the wider community that Oxford Street is an inclusive neighbourhood, where venues stand firmly against homophobia, transphobia and antisocial behaviour.

The PrideVis initiative is part of a broader campaign to ensure Oxford Street remains a haven for people of diverse sexualities and genders with a variety of safe, visible and celebrated venues.

The City of Sydney has also refurbished its rainbow walks and crossings with the Pride Progress flag.
 
Participating venues and security staff have access to extensive training resources jointly developed by the City of Sydney and the Oxford Street Pride Business Charter.
 
Online diversity and inclusion training is offered free of charge to charter members to help with staff awareness of LGBTQIA+ communities and how to be an inclusive business. Diversity and inclusion training is also offered to security guards at Oxford Street venues.
 
“It’s important we protect the identity and culture of Oxford Street, while ensuring that locals and visitors always feel safe and welcome,” City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
 
“For this initiative to work effectively, we encourage security in all Oxford Street businesses to participate. Wearing the PrideVis vests will demonstrate that they are committed to the safety and support of our communities, with zero tolerance for homophobic and transphobic behaviour.

“Oxford Street is unique to Sydney and we want to build on its reputation as an iconic precinct hosting activities both day and night, with thriving businesses, creative industries and culture. The charter is a grassroots, community-led approach to keeping the precinct safe and inclusive.
 
“Membership is open to all businesses – property owners, arts and community organisations, and educational institutions operating in and servicing the area – and it signals the expectations of our communities, to current and future operators, that Oxford Street should remain lively, diverse and inclusive.”

“Thanks to the City of Sydney’s funding, we’ve been able to make this safety initiative a reality,” Richie Haines, chair of the Surry Hills Liquor Accord, added,
 
“There is a great community of bars and pubs in the Oxford Street precinct that come in all shapes, sizes and colours. It is great to see this community rally together with a common goal – that members of LGBTIQA+ communities feel safe, included and supported everywhere, especially in the Oxford Street precinct.” 
 
The City of Sydney is also working closely with the eSafety Commissioner’s office to provide social media defence training for LGBTQIA+ communities. The training seeks to address violence, discrimination, vilification, harassment and abuse in real life and online.
 
Since its launch twelve months ago, more than 60 businesses have become members of the Oxford Street Pride Business Charter.

The charter was established to ensure the area’s rich history and queer character is maintained and celebrated into the future.

-For the full lineup of Sydney Pride Month festival events go to www.sydneypride.com

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Andrew M Potts

Andrew has been covering LGBTQIA+ issues for a range of publications in Australia over two decades and was the Asia-Pacific correspondent for global LGBTQIA+ news website Gay Star News.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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