NSW police launch Operation Axils for 2018 Newcastle 500

Police have launched a high-visibility operation for this year’s Coates Hire Newcastle 500 to ensure race enthusiasts enjoy the event safely, NSW Police say.

The finale of the Supercars Australia Championship Series begins with practice laps tomorrow (Friday 23 November 2018), with the final race taking place at 3.40pm on Sunday (25 November 2018).

Operation Axils has been launched today to ensure the safety and security of more than 150,000 people, including competitors, officials and spectators expected in Newcastle this weekend.

General duties officers from Newcastle City Police District and across Northern Region, will be assisted by specialist police, from the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS), Operations Support Groups (OSG), Dog Unit, PolAir, Licensing Police, Bicycle Unit, Youth Command (PCYC), Police Transport Command and Traffic & Highway Patrol Command throughout the operation.

Operation Axils Commander, Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell, was joined by Lord Mayor of Newcastle Nuatali Nelmes and Supercars Australia Chief Operation Officer Shane Howard this afternoon to officially launch the operation.

“While we want everyone to have a great time, there will be a large high-visibility police presence and any anti-social or dangerous behaviour will not be tolerated,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.

“Local officers and specialist police will be out in force across the event, focusing on road safety, crowd behaviour, alcohol-related violence, and minimising the impact on the local community.

“With over 150,000 people expected to attend, police are urging motorists to be patient, remain vigilant with speed and fatigue, and drive to the conditions.

“Race enthusiasts are also reminded that if you are caught in possession of prohibited drugs or while using prohibited drugs, you are committing a serious offence and will face the full force of the law,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.

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

“We were absolutely delighted with how smoothly the event ran last year and the fantastic crowd,” Supercars Australia Chief Operation Officer Shane Howard said.

“The transport system worked exceptionally well, people had a great time and it was a massive event for Newcastle,” he added.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the city was excited to host the second consecutive Newcastle 500 and eager to build on last year’s glowing report card.

“The success of the inaugural Newcastle 500 and the excellent behaviour of what were massive crowds reinforced our city’s reputation as a great place for major events,” Cr Nelmes said.

“This year we’re proud once again to highlight our city and region to the world by helping deliver another exciting, safe, inclusive event for residents and visitors.”

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

Further information about the event, including venue maps, transport and parking availability, can be found at: www.supercars.com/newcastle/

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