High-visibility Police Operation Dover launched

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

Supercars Australia ultimate endurance race, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, begins with practise laps today with the main event taking place at 11.10am on Sunday.

Operation Dover 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 officers from Chifley Local Area Command and across Western Region will be assisted by specialist police 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 Dover Commander, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie, was joined by Bathurst Mayor, Councillor Graeme Hanger OAM, and Supercars Australia Chief Operating Officer Shane Howard this afternoon to officially launch the operation.

“Local officers and specialist police will be out in force across the event footprint, focusing on road safety and crowd behaviour, and minimising the impact of the event on the local community,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

“Thousands of people make the annual journey to be involved in the action and while the race has become more family-friendly in recent years, we will not tolerate any form of anti-social or criminal behaviour.

“We are working closely with event organisers and other agencies to ensure the event maintains this reputation,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

“The message is simple – do not drink to excess and if you’re planning on driving please make sure you have a Plan B, like a designated driver.

“We will have a large high-visibility police presence and ensure strict alcohol restrictions are adhered to,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

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 or ask you to dispose of your alcohol,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.

“We want everyone to have a good time and 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.

“I’d also like to remind attendees that drones are not permitted inside the event footprint. The use of drones can be a serious safety hazard given the number of racegoers making their way around Mount Panorama and the multiple viewing areas, and they can be seized by police.

“We want the Bathurst 1000 to be an incident-free weekend, so anyone who chooses to break the law or create issues for other racegoers by behaving badly can expect to 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.

Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon, said it was important that racegoers heed the message of police and take care travelling to and from the race.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility, including yours,” Mr Carlon said.

“Speeding, drink driving, fatigue and not wearing a seatbelt remain the four biggest killers on our roads.

“So far this year, 292 people have been killed and thousands more have been seriously injured in road crashes in NSW– don’t become another number in the statistic.

“If you’re feeling tired, don’t push on, stop and take a break – your friends and family would rather you arrive late than not at all.”

“If you’re planning on having a few drinks then make sure you have a Plan B and leave the driving to someone who hasn’t been drinking.

“Leave the high speeds to the professionals on the track – stick to the speed limit and wear a seat belt,– we want everyone to enjoy the event and make it home safe,” Mr Carlon said.

Mayor of Bathurst, Councillor Graeme Hanger OAM, said the city was ready to welcome tens of thousands of race fans to the city for the 2017 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

“We are expecting more than 200,000 ticket sales over four days and visitors are set to enjoy the great race at Mt Panorama with many more fans tuning in across the world to country the action,” Cr Hanger said.

“Bathurst Regional Council’s focus in recent years has been to create a variety of family friendly events to complement the great race, such as a street fair that features a variety of food, live music, markets and children’s rides.”

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.

"Australia’s great race just gets better and better,” Mr Howard said.

“We look forward to another fantastic event, world class racing and for everyone to have a great time.”

Further information about the event, including venue maps, track schedules and parking availability, can be found at:http://www.supercars.com/bathurst1000/