MORE than 260 officers have been tasked with protecting the community as the Great Race festival gets under way.
NSW Police launched its high-visibility operation on Tuesday, which will see hundreds of officers deployed across Bathurst and the surrounding roads to crackdown on anti-social behaviour.
General duties officers from Chifley Police District and across the Western Region will be assisted by specialist police from the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS), Operations Support Group (OSG), the Dog and Mounted Unit, Licensing Police, Bicycle Unit, Youth Command, Police Transport Command and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command throughout the operation.
Operation Bathurst 2021 Commander, Assistant Commissioner Brett Greentree said it will be a large operation.
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"We have in excess of 260 police officers and that encompasses a number of areas, from our dog squad, mounted police, operational support group and our friends in highway and traffic patrol," he said.
"It is a big footprint to cover, not just the event itself, but the Bathurst community and the roads in and out of Bathurst itself.
"It is a large operation, but we do that here for those public safety reasons. We want people to feel comfortable, we want people here seeing the police, we want to engage with people and ensure that everybody does the right thing."
He said most people do come to the event and follow the rules, but police will be looking out for the few who do engage in anti-social behaviour.
"We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour. We will not tolerate criminal behaviour. We will be about this precinct, you will see a lot of police about, but that is for public safety," he said.
"We don't want to be the fun police. We want to be here to make sure people enjoy themselves."
Compliance with COVID-19 health orders and the COVID safety plan for the event will also be monitored.
Supercars chief operating officer Shane Howard said the event will be running at 60 to 65 per cent capacity, but it will still be a great experience for fans who attend.
The event organisers are being guided by NSW Health as to what is safe.
"We're coming out of lockdown, we still have some state orders imposed. The event will be operating at around 60 to 65 per cent of its normal capacity," Mr Howard said, adding that the numbers in relation to spectators and camping were still strong.
"... We're very happy with the numbers for this event."
On track action for the race meeting started on Tuesday, with the Bathurst 1000 itself to be held on Sunday.
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