Police prioritise safety at Bathurst

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 09/10/2015
  • By NSW Police Force

Police have launched a high-visibility operation for this year's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 to ensure race enthusiasts enjoy the event safely.

The V8 Supercars ultimate endurance race, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, begins with practice laps today (Thursday 8 October 2015), with the main event taking place from 11am on Sunday (11 October 2015).

Operation Coulton has been launched today to ensure the safety and security of more than 200,000 people expected to descend on Mount Panorama, including competitors, officials and spectators.

General Duties police attached to Chifley Local Area Command and across Western Region will be assisted by specialist officers from the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS), Operations Support Group (OSG), Dog Unit, PolAir, Licensing Police, Bicycle Unit, Youth Command (PCYC), Police Transport Command and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command throughout the operation.

Operation Coulton Commander, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie, was joined by Bathurst Mayor, Councillor Gary Rush, and V8 Supercars Chief Operating Officer Shane Howard this afternoon, to officially launch the operation.

"Police will be out in force throughout the four-day event, focusing on road safety and crowd behaviour, and minimising the impact of the event on the local community," Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

"This is the most anticipated motorsport event in Australia; with many people making the annual pilgrimage to catch their slice of the action each year. We respect everyone's right to enjoy the race weekend, but will not tolerate anti-social of criminal behaviour.

"In recent years, the race has shifted toward being a much more family-friendly event, and police have been working closely with event organisers and other agencies to ensure that trend continues," Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

"There are however some who drink to excess and try to spoil the event for others, which is why we will maintain a highly-visible presence and ensure strict alcohol restrictions are adhered to."

Each adult will be restricted to bringing one of the following items into the event each day, which will be enforced by police and event security.

- One carton of full strength beer or full strength premixed drinks in cans only(24 can); OR

- One carton of mid strength beer (30 cans); OR

- One cask of wine (up to four litres); OR

- One bottle of spirits (750ml - plastic bottle only).

Glass is also strictly prohibited from the campgrounds, which includes jars.

"I'd like to remind all racegoers that police can confiscate alcohol without warning and ask you to dispose of your alcohol," Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

"We want everyone to enjoy the event, but not at the expense of other people's safety, so make sure you behave responsibly and think before you drink."

Police, with assistance from event security and drug-detection dogs, will also be conducting vehicle searches as racegoers enter the grounds.

"If you are caught in possession of prohibited drugs or while using prohibited drugs, you are committing a serious offence and can expect to be arrested, charged and immediately ejected from the venue, or refused entry," Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

"We want the Bathurst 1000 to be an incident-free weekend, so the same applies for anyone who chooses to break the law or create issues for other racegoers by behaving badly. You'll be caught and dealt with swiftly."

Additional Traffic and Highway Patrol officers will also be deployed to ensure racegoers and other motorists make it to and from their destinations safely.

"With thousands of extra cars on the road this weekend we're urging all motorists to be extremely vigilant with their speed, fatigue and driving behaviour," Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

"Racegoers need to exercise patience, allow extra travel time, and expect delays, particularly on the Great Western Highway and Bells Line of Road to accommodate the significant increase in traffic.

"Officers will be cracking down on motorists who choose to flout the road rules, so don't put yourself, or other road users at risk," Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

For all special event traffic information, including road closures, special event clearways and live traffic reports, visit: www.livetraffic.com.

Councillor Gary Rush said he's looking forward to a great event over the next four days as Bathurst celebrates its bicentenary.

"We have great expectations for this year's event and we're hoping we can top 200,000 ticket sales in recognition of the city's 200th year," Cr Rush said.

"We have generations of families who keep coming back to the mountain, and we've been working closely with the NSW Police and V8 Supercars to ensure a successful and family friendly Bathurst 1000 for 2015."

Shane Howard said the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 is one of Australia's biggest sporting events and one of the pre-eminent motor races in the world.

"We are expecting crowds of up to 200,000 this weekend and are looking forward to seeing some spectacular motor racing and entertainment for the fans," Mr Howard said.

"We want everyone to enjoy themselves but please do so safely and respect each other so we can make this one of the best events we have seen."

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