Police are warning residents to plan ahead and to expect a different holiday experience during the summer months of 2020-2021 as they launch the first phase of their summer safety campaign.
Operation Summer Safe is a high-visibility operation, which will be in place for the duration of the current school holidays (Monday 28 September to Sunday 11 October), and the following summer months throughout regional NSW.
The operation will focus on policing licensed premises, public spaces and entertainment precincts in an effort to decrease anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related violence, while also ensuring adherence to current Public Health Orders.
Northern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell, is urging all NSW residents who either live in regional NSW or are planning to travel to the regions in the upcoming weeks and months to expect a visit with a difference.
“We are all aware of the additional risks that the COVID-19 pandemic poses, with tens of thousands of people moving about the state and the additional risk of community transmission ever present,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.
“We must not forget that the virus doesn’t follow borders restrictions and hotspot declaration and – when families take a holiday closer to home this year – we have to keep our regional citizens in mind.
“Officers from all Northern Region police districts will be conducting regular and high-visibility patrols and checks of major tourist destinations to ensure social distancing and COVID-19 Safety Plans are being enacted.
“As people continue to chase the warmth and head into Northern NSW, coastal towns will be an additional focus, with local police working closely with councils and NSW Surf Lifesaving to ensure social distancing is observed at our beaches and ocean baths.”
Road safety will also be a focus of Operation Summer Safe, with Traffic and Highway Patrol officers to assist police districts with targeting speeding, drink and drug driving, driving while fatigued, mobile phone, and other traffic offences.
“Double demerits forms part of the first phase of Operation Summer Safe, with the October long weekend only a few days away,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.
“Always drive to the conditions and never get behind the wheel tired; your beachside or vineyard holiday will still be there, even if you are a few hours late.”
Operation Summer Safe will be continually go from now until the end of summer in February 2021.