NSW police pleased with crowd behaviour as Operation Mawson concludes at Bathurst 1000

Police have praised the behaviour of crowds following the conclusion of the high-visibility operation for this year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, NSW Police say.

Operation Mawson commenced on Thursday (6 October 2016), to ensure the safety and security of competitors, officials and more than 200,000 racegoers at Mount Panorama over the four-day event.

More than 300 officers including General Duties police from Chifley Local Area Command and across Western Region, the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS), Operations Support Group (OSG), Dog Unit, Licensing Police, Bicycle Unit, Youth Command (PCYC), Police Transport Command and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were involved in the operation.

Officers attached to Operation Mawson arrested and charged five people, including two men who were charged over the alleged assault of a security guard on site.

People were also charged with malicious damage, offensive conduct, and a fifth man was charged over the alleged use of a flare inside the event footprint.

In addition, police issued nine banning notices to racegoers over anti-social behaviour at Mount Panorama.

Operation Mawson Commander, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie, said while there were a minority who chose to do the wrong thing, most racegoers enjoyed the race weekend safely.

“Police were out in force across the event footprint over the last four days. They were focused on road safety, crowd behaviour, and minimising the impact of the event on the local community,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

“Overwhelmingly, we were pleased with the behaviour of everyone who attended the race, and it was great to see so many families making the pilgrimage to camp on the mountain this year; a trend that’s been increasing in recent years.

“The race has certainly shifted toward being a much more family-friendly event and we worked closely with V8 Supercars and Bathurst Regional Council to ensure that atmosphere continued,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

“Fortunately, police and security maintained a highly-visible presence, so those trouble-makers who tried to spoil the fun for others were quickly identified and dealt with accordingly.”

A small number of people were evicted from the race and issued banning notices for offensive behaviour or conduct.

“In addition to ensuring a safe and secure environment on the mountain, police also maintained a presence in the city to minimise the impact of the event on the local community,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

Road safety was another focus of the operation, with officers conducting more than 4400 random breath tests and charging four drivers with drink-driving.

Officers also carried out 522 random drug tests, 14 of which allegedly returned a positive result. The results will now undergo further examination and charges may be laid.

Police also issued 410 Traffic Infringement Notices (TINs), including 264 for speeding offences.

“Our Traffic and Highway Patrol officers have been reminding drivers every day of the dangers of speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and while most heeded our warnings there were some who engaged in risky driver behaviour,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

“Additional police will be deployed across the region as the race concludes to ensure racegoers and other motorists have a safe journey home.

“With thousands of cars trying to leave the precinct at once, racegoers need to exercise patience, allow extra travel time and expect delays, particularly on the Great Western Highway and Bells Line of Road,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

“Those travelling from interstate, please make sure you take regular rest breaks and don’t continue driving if you’re feeling fatigued.

“Officers will be cracking down on motorists who refuse to obey the road rules, so don’t put yourself, or other road users at risk.”

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

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