New South Wales

Crowds well behaved as Operation Boote concludes

Police have praised the good behaviour of the majority of racegoers following the conclusion of the high-visibility operation for 2017’s Coates Hire Newcastle 500.

Operation Boote commenced last Friday (24 November 2017), to ensure the safety and security of competitors, officials and more than 190,000 racegoers over the three-day event.

General duties police from Newcastle City Local Area Command and across Northern Region, the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS), Operations Support Group (OSG), Dog Unit, Licensing Police, Bicycle Unit, Police Transport Command and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were involved in the operation.

Officers attached to Operation Boote arrested and charged three people, including a 33-year-old man who allegedly assaulted a security guard on Shortland Esplanade about 4pm yesterday (Sunday 26 November 2017). He was taken to Newcastle Police Station where he was charged with two counts of assault and resisting police. As the man was leaving the station, it will be alleged he became aggressive towards police. He was re-arrested and charged with breach bail conditions.

The man was refused bail to appear in Newcastle Local Court today (Monday 27 November 2017).

In a separate incident, a man and a woman – both aged 35 – were arrested after an alleged fight on the footpath at King Street, near Crown Street, about 10.40pm on Saturday (25 November 2017). They were taken to Newcastle Police Station and charged with affray. They were granted conditional bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday 12 December 2017.

A 30-year-old man was also arrested after reports he allegedly assaulted a 44-year-old woman at Foreshore Park about 10pm on Saturday (25 November 2017). No charges have been laid at this stage and inquiries continue.

Operation Boote Commander, Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell, said it was positive to see the majority of racegoers behave themselves for the first-ever Newcastle 500.

“Officers were out in force across the event footprint and we were very pleased with the behaviour of most people who attended the event,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.

“It’s evident that Operation Boote was successful in creating a safe, family-friendly atmosphere in and around Newcastle, while minimising the impact of the event on the local community.

“Unfortunately, there were some who ignored our warnings and they were quickly identified and dealt with accordingly.

Road safety was another focus of the operation, with officers conducting more than 5580 random breath tests and charging 13 drivers with drink-driving.

Police also issued 489 Traffic Infringement Notices (TINs), including 295 for speeding offences.

Of note, officers were conducting stationary speed enforcement on Main Road, Shortland, about 11.30am on Saturday (25 November 2017), when they allegedly detected a motorbike travelling 157km/h in a marked 90km/h zone.

Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, however, it failed to stop and a short pursuit followed. The pursuit ended and shortly afterwards the motorbike crashed.

The rider, a 29-year-old man was arrested and charged with nine offences including police pursuit, exceed speed over 45km/h, assault police, resist arrest, and drive whilst disqualified. The man was bail refused to appear at Toronto Local Court yesterday (Sunday 26 November 2017) where he was granted conditional bail to reappear at Newcastle Local Court on Thursday (30 November 2017).

“Our Traffic and Highway Patrol officers have been reminding drivers every day of the dangers of speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and while most heeded our warnings it’s disappointing to see there were some who engaged in risky driver behaviour,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.

“With people still leaving, racegoers need to exercise patience, allow extra travel time and expect delays, particularly on the M1 Motorway.

“Those travelling from interstate, please make sure you take regular rest breaks and don’t continue driving if you’re feeling fatigued,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.

Transport for NSW Coordinator General, Marg Prendergast, said many Supercars fans took advantage of the additional public transport over the three-day event, including extra trains and buses.

“The shuttle buses from McDonald Jones Stadium and Newcastle Interchange were a popular choice, as was the ferry running from Stockton Wharf,” Ms Prendergast said.

“We thank the more than 190,000 eventgoers and residents of Newcastle for their cooperation and remind those that live or work near the racetrack that some clearways and road closures are still in place.”

Source: NSW Police