Sydney’s New Year’s Eve crowd crush quickly controlled as big numbers drawn to city, police say

Home Arts Sydney’s New Year’s Eve crowd crush quickly controlled as big numbers drawn to city, police say
Sydney’s New Year’s Eve crowd crush quickly controlled as big numbers drawn to city, police say

Video has emerged of a crowd crush at Sydney Harbour just before midnight, in what authorities say was likely the city’s biggest ever New Year’s Eve crowd.

In the video published on the Daily Mail news website, people can be heard screaming as a large crowd of revellers pushed through an open security gate into a ticketed area at The Rocks.

One man can be seen on the ground as security guards yell “stop” and try to push back the moving crowd.

A spokesman for New South Wales Police said security guards were able to contain the incident quickly.

“Just before midnight, large crowds surged towards a vantage point for a better view of the fireworks, resulting in police resources being deployed to the area for crowd management,” the statement read.

“There were no injuries as a result and no arrests were made.”

A security guard with his hand in the air above a man on the ground in a crowd
A security guard moves to protect a man who fell to the ground during the crowd crush.(Supplied: Daily Mail)
A child is held up by their parent in a large crowd
A child is held aloft as the crowd moves through security gates at The Rocks.(Supplied: Daily Mail)

In a separate incident, police on foot and horseback had to control crowds who tried to access the Sydney Harbour Bridge just before fireworks were set off at midnight.

Police said several vantage points around the city were at capacity by late afternoon, as more than 200,000 revellers travelled into the city and foreshore areas ahead of the 9pm and midnight fireworks displays.

The Sydney CBD was declared “full” by 7pm, with thousands of people hoping to find a spot to watch the fireworks forced to head back home or wait outside gates.

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Vision shows police crowd control near the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore said the incident at The Rocks was a “minor” crush.

“We have measures in place for crowd control. There was a minor event at The Rocks and immediately that was sorted,” she said.

“We haven’t got the final figures yet, but we probably had more people around the harbour than we have ever had before.”

A City of Sydney spokesperson said The Rocks was managed by the New South Wales government.

“We work with multiple government agencies on crowd management plans well ahead of time, so incidents are dealt with quickly and people can enjoy their night.,” the spokesperson said.

“As always, we’ll incorporate any learnings from this event as we plan next year’s celebration with our NSW government partners.”

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Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore says a “minor” crush was controlled.

Some Commonwealth and New South Wales government-owned land around the Harbour was only accessible with a paid ticket, with some tickets costing more than $500.

Cr Moore said while some City of Sydney vantage points were ticketed, they were all free.

” I would like to see all of the sites around the Harbour free,” she said.

“I don’t believe other councils or government agencies should be making money out of the event.”

A line of police walks towards the camera on a road
Police push back on revellers attempting to cross Sydney Harbour Bridge.(ABC News)
fireworks lit off on top of sydney's harbour bridge for new year celebrations
The fireworks display drew huge crowds this year.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

NSW Police arrested 83 people during the celebration, and laid 25 charges for various offences, including assault police, assault, prohibited drug-related offences and offensive behaviour.

More than 200 traffic and railway infringement notices were issued.

NSW Ambulance said it received more than 2,200 triple-O calls for assistance between 4pm New Year’s Eve and 5am on Sunday morning, a decrease of about 670 calls on last year.

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