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Police finalise preparations for Australia Day

Media Release

“Australia Day – Everyone, Everywhere” is the official theme for this year’s national holiday, and it is also representative of the police operation planned for tomorrow.

Hundreds of additional police will be deployed everywhere on Australia Day (Tuesday 26 January 2016), to ensure it is a safe, fun and family-friendly event for everyone.

Police are finalising preparations for Operation Carbon, which be in place from early tomorrow morning, and will run until the conclusion of Australia Day festivities late tomorrow night.

Throughout the day, general duties officers from local area commands across NSW will be assisted by specialist officers from the Police Transport Command, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Public Order and Riot Squad, Operations Support Group, Alcohol Licensing and Enforcement Unit, Mounted Unit, Dog Unit, PolAir and Marine Area Command.

“Australia Day is a time to celebrate, and we want everyone to have a great time; we just ask that you celebrate safely and responsibly,” Operation Carbon Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Kyle Stewart, said.

“As with any major public event, community safety is our number-one priority – which is why we have committed so many extra officers to work on the day.CopCar

“We have no doubt the vast majority of people will behave sensibly, whether they are enjoying official festivities; playing cricket at the beach; or barbecuing in their own back yard.

“However, if police see anyone acting in ways that threaten to ruin the day for everyone else, we will take swift action to rectify that situation,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Stewart said.

In particular, police will be targeting criminal and anti-social behaviour associated with drinking too much alcohol.

As part of an ongoing commitment to providing family-friendly activities, alcohol-free zones will be in place at dozens of events and in many parks and beaches across the state.

“We urge anyone who drinks alcohol on Australia Day to take it easy; know your limits; look out for your mates; and remember alcohol impairs your ability to make good judgements,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Stewart said.

“We will not tolerate alcohol-related violence, which is one of the greatest risks to community safety during public celebrations.

“We will also have drink and drug drivers in our sights; hundreds of traffic police will be on duty tomorrow – so if you expect to drink and drive, expect to be pulled over and tested,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Stewart said.

Tomorrow’s activities will include a number of aerial displays over Sydney Harbour from about midday.

At these times, NSW Police’s Aviation Support Branch will be the controlling authority over the air space between the Harbour Bridge and the Heads, as well as above Manly Harbour.

“Our focus will be to ensure no unauthorised aircraft enter the air space during the displays,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Stewart said.

“This includes unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones.

“We ask that if you intend operating a drone on Australia Day, keep it away from the Harbour during the aerial demonstrations.

“Your cooperation will ensure the safety of pilots involved in the activities, as well as spectators enjoying the show,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Stewart said.

At all other times and in all areas, non-commercial drone operators are required to comply with Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations. For more information, visit www.casa.gov.au/rpa.

Crowd management will be another priority for police attached to Operation Carbon.

“We’re expecting large numbers of people to come out and enjoy the hundreds of family-friendly Australia Day events planned across Sydney and beyond,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Stewart said.

“It will be especially busy around Sydney’s CBD and the Harbour foreshore, but we will have plenty of police on the ground to assist, and we ask people to be patient as they move between locations.

“Road closures will be in place around the Sydney CBD and Harbour foreshore from early in the morning, so public transport may be the best option for anyone travelling into the Sydney CBD.

“We wish everyone a safe and happy Australia Day,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Stewart said.

All event-related information is available on the official Australia Day website: www.australiaday.com.au.

To plan your trip on public transport visit: www.transportnsw.info.

For information about road closures and special event clearways, visit: www.livetraffic.com.