Take care out there: Police on patrol on Australia Day

Enjoy your Australia Day celebrations but take care out there: this is the message from police for January 26.

Richmond Police District Inspector Bill McKenna said it’s going to be a bit different to the usual celebrations as large gatherings are limited across the state due to the continuing pandemic.

“We will have a large police presence including at Lennox Head, Ballina and Evans Head and will be ready to be mobile across the region as needed,” Insp McKenna said.

“As well as enforcing alcohol-free zones, we will be doing lots of beach, park and reserves patrols as well as conducting licensed premises checks.”

Richmond Police District Superintendent Scott Tanner said police would be focusing on ensuring the community remains COVID-safe, and targeting alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour.

“After the year we’ve had, this day is a time to reflect on our sense of community and to come together to celebrate everything that is great about being Australian,” he said.

“Australia Day 2021 is a day to reflect, respect and celebrate the Australian spirit so we ask the community to be patient and respect each other and any restrictions in place.

“We do have the power to ensure that the community is adhering to current public health orders, so let’s work together to ensure everyone enjoys Australia Day safely.”

Supt Tanner said mates should look out for – and after – each other.

“Importantly, if you are planning to drink, look after your mates, drink in moderation, and always have a Plan B if you’re driving,” he said.

“Officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will also be on our roads, if you are caught doing the wrong thing, you will be put before the courts.”

Hot weather is expected over the next few days, and police are urging revellers to keep informed on the conditions, look after their health.

Stay safe in the hot weather:

1. Drink plenty of water (limit hot, sugary, or alcoholic beverages)

2. Keep cool (stay in the airconditioning, if possible)

3. Take care of others (visit or contact those at risk of heat-related illness)

4. Have a plan (know who to contact if you need assistance and seek medical advice if you feel unwell).