Police ‘pleased’ with crowd after only four arrests during Mount Panorama operation

ON DUTY: NSW Police Force Dog Unit officer Jared Rodger and Bear checking cars entering Mount Panorama for the Bathurst 1000. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 100717pbdog2
ON DUTY: NSW Police Force Dog Unit officer Jared Rodger and Bear checking cars entering Mount Panorama for the Bathurst 1000. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 100717pbdog2

POLICE have praised the good behaviour of the majority of racegoers following the conclusion of the high-visibility operation for this year’s Bathurst 1000.

Operation Dover commenced on Thursday 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 Dover arrested and charged four people, including a 38-year-old man who was charged with common assault and resisting or hindering police in the execution of duty over the alleged assault of a security official on Sunday.

He is due to appear in Bathurst Local Court on November 2.

A 22-year-old man was charged with possessing a prohibited drug after allegedly being found with cannabis at a vehicle check point.

Charges were also laid against people for malicious damage and entering enclosed lands.

Operation Dover Commander, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie, said it was positive to see the majority of attendees behave themselves over the weekend.

“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.

“We were very pleased with the behaviour of most people who attended the race, and it was great to see so many families returning to camp on the mountain this year to support the event.

“Once again police worked closely with Supercars Australia and Bathurst Regional Council to ensure a safe and enjoyable event.

“Unfortunately, there were some who ignored our advice and tried to spoil the fun for others, but they 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.

Road safety was another focus of the operation, with officers conducting more than 5800 random breath tests and charging three drivers with drink-driving.

Police also issued 600 Traffic Infringement Notices, including 319 for speeding offences.

In one instance, a female motorist had her licence suspended after police detected her travelling at 54km/h over her allowable speed limit.

The 27-year-old driver from Sydney was detected travelling 144km/h in a 100km/h zone on the Great Western Highway at Raglan on Saturday morning.

When the silver Ford Territory was stopped by police at 11.15am, it was noticed that the vehicle was displaying red P-plates.

The driver, who was from Menai, produced a NSW P1 licence, which is restricted to 90km/h.

The woman was issued an infringement notice for P1 over 45km/h and her licence was suspended for six months and the plates fixed to her were confiscated for three months.

“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. 

“With thousands of cars still leaving, racegoers need to exercise patience, allow extra travel time and expect delays, particularly on the Great Western Highway and Bells Line of Road.

“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.”