NSW Police Force launches 'Summer Safe'

Thursday, 04 November 2021 10:02:02 AM

The NSW Police Force has launched its summer safety campaign to encourage people to make good choices and ensure the season is memorable for all the right reasons.

With the next phase of restrictions easing next Monday (8 November 2021), which allows greater capacities both in and outdoors, as well as the reopening of nightclubs and other entertainment venues, the Force is refocusing on contemporary policing.

Summer Safe is a statewide high-visibility strategy which will focus policing resources on crime prevention, alcohol-related crime, anti-social behaviour and road safety.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, said the easing of restrictions was not a free pass to break the law.

“I know people are excited to get out and about to catch up with friends and family as further restrictions are eased in the upcoming weeks and months, but that shouldn’t escalate into anti-social behaviour or other alcohol related crime,” Mr Elliott said.

“Once again, police are taking the responsible approach and are reminding the community that safety is the primary priority this summer.”

Community engagement and education will also be important elements of Summer Safe, as well as working closely with partner agencies to reduce risk of harm, injury and death.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Metropolitan Field Operations, Peter Thurtell, said that while it’s exciting to be able to enjoy summer doing all the things we love, the community needs to keep safety at top of mind.

“The last two years have been rough on everyone and we want this to be a season of celebration and not commiseration,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Thurtell said.

“In the first week of relaxed restrictions, police responded to about as many alcohol-related incidents as we did the week over New Year’s, which is concerning as we approach this year’s festive season.

“We know that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to poor decision making – often leading to people finding themselves as victims of crime or perpetrators of crime.

“Our goal this summer is to provide the safest environment possible for people to enjoy themselves and ensure we act swiftly against those who choose to behave unlawfully.”

General Duties officers from Police Area Commands and Police Districts will be supported by specialist police to prevent, disrupt and respond to crime across NSW.

In addition, there will be an increased presence of Traffic and Highway Patrol Command on the roads and Marine Area Command on all waterways.

Deputy Commissioner Regional NSW Field Operations, Mick Willing, said it’s also the season for vacationing and long-awaited catchups with family and friends, meaning a lot more visitors in the regions.

“It is exciting to see NSW open up and a return to the experiences that make Australian summers great, including trips along our coastline, though regional towns and out to the bush,” Deputy Commissioner Willing said.

“Sadly, 232 people have lost their lives on NSW roads this year and we know that fatal crashes are twice as likely to occur on our regional roads, so we urge people to take it easy and drive to the conditions.

“There’ll be a mobile police presence targeting the four D’s – drink, drug, distracted and dangerous driving – as well as speeding and driving while tired, which will make sure everyone gets to their destination safely.

“For those on our waterways, the same drink-driving laws apply, but it’s certainly safer for skippers not to drink at all. Generally speaking, alcohol and water don’t mix.

“The people of NSW have shown they can come together when times are tough, it’s now time for us to show that we will look out for each other during the good times.”

More information about community safety, including crime prevention tips, is available on the NSW Police Force website: https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/safety_and_prevention.