Stay safe this Australia Day, police urge

Water watch: Officers from the Marine Area Command will work with Maritime NSW to patrol coastal and inland waterways, where significant maritime traffic is expected on Australia Day. Picture: Brad Whittaker
Water watch: Officers from the Marine Area Command will work with Maritime NSW to patrol coastal and inland waterways, where significant maritime traffic is expected on Australia Day. Picture: Brad Whittaker

NSW Police has encouraged the community to celebrate Australia Day safely, ahead of a state-wide operation.

Operation Australia Day 2022 will begin on January 26.

More than 2000 general duties and specialist police will be patrolling events and popular areas.

Commander of Operation Australia Day 2022, Assistant Commissioner Peter Cotter, said police would focus on providing a safe environment.

"Police are there to keep you safe, not ruin your day or spoil your fun. We want everyone to feel safe and respected as we come together to reflect on our history and celebrate contemporary Australia," he said.

"Anyone found disrespecting each other with anti-social, dangerous or reckless behaviour, will be detected and dealt with swiftly."

Police are working closely with the Australia Day Council, NSW Government agencies, landowners, and other stakeholders to make sure the day is enjoyable for everyone across NSW.

Officers from the Marine Area Command will work with Maritime NSW to patrol coastal and inland waterways, where significant maritime traffic is expected.

The Marine Area Command is reminding skippers to check their vessel is in good working order and ensure the required safety equipment is on board, including lifejackets.

Marine Area Commander, Superintendent Murray Reynolds, said life jackets should be used by anyone heading out on a boat, jet ski, or kayak, as well as rock fishers.

"Time after time, we see how lifejackets save lives - and Australia Day is no different," he said.

"Marine Area Command officers will also be focused on drink driving and will be random breath testing skippers on the water."

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, with local police, will continue to patrol roads across the state on the day, targeting drink, drug, distracted and dangerous driving, fatigue, speeding and other offences.

The Police Transport Command will be facilitating the safe and effective movement of the community on the public transport network.

This story Stay safe this Australia Day, police urge first appeared on St George & Sutherland Shire Leader.