NSW Police are urging country-music fans to plan their trip ahead of time and travel safely on the roads as they make their way to Tamworth for the annual Country Music Festival.
A high-visibility policing operation will be in place from Friday until January 26.
General duties officers from Oxley Police District and across Western Region, assisted by specialist police, will focus on road safety, anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related violence.
Western Region Commander, acting assistant commissioner Peter McKenna, said the festival is the largest annual event in Tamworth, during which the city’s population almost doubles.
“There will be additional Traffic and Highway Patrol officers on our roads throughout the event, so we’re urging motorists to be mindful of the traffic, drive to the conditions and allow extra travel time," he said.
“Police patrolling roads in and around Tamworth will be targeting speeding, drink and drug driving, mobile-phone use, and other dangerous driver behaviours.
“Our officers are not out to spoil your fun, they are focused on making sure the event is safe and enjoyable for everyone involved.”
Festival-goers are also encouraged to be patient when they arrive in Tamworth, as a number of roads will be closed during the 10-day event.
Only vehicles displaying the appropriate council authorisation will be allowed entry into restricted areas.
Police and council rangers will also strictly enforce alcohol-free zones, which will be in place throughout the CBD.
“Community safety is our number-one priority, and police will be targeting criminal and anti-social behaviour associated with drinking too much alcohol,” Mr McKenna said.
“The message is simple – think before you drink, keep an eye on your mates, and enjoy the event responsibly.”
With camping the preferred accommodation option for festival-goers; police offer the following safety and security tips:
• Plan your trip in advance and if possible, make a booking;
• Get to know your surrounding campers;
• In large crowds, be mindful of your own safety and security as well as that of people around you;
• Leave valuables at home – if you must take valuables with you, ensure they are secured and kept out of sight;
• Lock your caravan or campervan when unattended;
• Where possible, use a lock to secure your tent;
• Where possible, use a portable alarm in your tent or camper;
• Plan for changes in weather conditions;
• Ensure valuables are not left in unattended vehicles;
• Report any suspicious behaviour to police.
For comprehensive event details, visit the official festival website: www.tcmf.com.au
Special-event traffic information can be found at: www.livetraffic.com.