The recently implemented strict regulations on NSW’s music festivals have also required some events to increase their onsite police presence, both overt and otherwise, and it turns out the NSW police force are making literal millions from it.
According to SBS News, the NSW Police Force made $12,896,828 in the first seven months of the 2018/19 financial year under the “user pays” scheme, which is the service that allows the hiring of police officers to add extra security to festivals and sporting events at the cost of the event organiser.
A lot of festivals have been critical of police presence at NSW music festivals.
Bohemian Beatfreaks festival recently had to move from NSW to Queensland to due this restrictions. Director Eric Lamir-Pyke told SBS News that the quotes they had received for the price of policing were all over the shop.
Lamir-Pyke reportedly said that they had previously been quotes $3,000 for user pays services for the event, but that number was raised all the way to $200,000. It was then lowered to $105,847.
“It’s obvious there’s no consistency in regulation in terms of how many police is suited to what size crowd,” Lamir-Pyke said.
This comes after Up Down festival had its first run a few weeks ago, after being deemed a “high risk” festival before it had even happened. There were no major incidents, but organisers said they found the police presence “intimidating and excessive.”