Operation STAY AT HOME expands to target unauthorised protest activity

Friday, 20 August 2021 02:00:22 PM

The NSW Police Force will launch a highly visible and agile police response ahead of unauthorised protest activity planned for this weekend.

Operation Stay At Home was launched earlier this week to enforce Public Health Orders across NSW.

Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon, Metropolitan Field Operations, was joined by Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, today (Friday 20 August 2021) to outline the expansion of Operation Stay At Home in response to unauthorised protest activity expected over the weekend.

More than 1400 officers will be strategically deployed to provide a highly visible presence across Sydney to prevent, disrupt and respond to plans for large public gatherings to engage in protest activities tomorrow (Saturday 21 August 2021).

General Duties officers from Central, North West and South West Metropolitan Regions will be supported by the Public Order and Riot Squad, Operations Support Group, the Dog and Mounted Unit, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Police Transport Command, and PolAir for static and mobile operational activities.

A significant police presence can be expected in Sydney CBD and surrounds, as well as on major roadways, the public transport network and Sydney Harbour.

Further, police are continuing to monitor commentary relating to proposed splinter events being planned across Regional NSW, and relevant Police Districts will also deploy officers to disrupt those activities.

While the NSW Police Force recognises and supports the rights of individuals and groups of free speech and peaceful assembly, this event is unauthorised and unacceptable in the current climate.

Police have powers under the Crimes Act and the Public Health Act to prevent unauthorised protests and mass gatherings, ranging from Penalty Infringement Notices through to charges with maximum penalties of imprisonment.

The safety of the community is – and will always be – the priority of the NSW Police Force.