A FEW drink and drug drivers have marred what was otherwise a very good Bathurst 1000 for NSW Police.
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Operation Bathurst concluded this week, following several days of high-visibility policing at Mount Panorama, in the township, and on roads in and out of Bathurst.
It was the first Race Week with an unrestricted crowd since the beginning of COVID-19 and, adding an extra layer of complexity, the event coincided with significant wet weather in Bathurst.
Bathurst Police Station's Chief Inspector Glenn Cogdell said the vast majority of people were well behaved across the event, with no major incidents to be reported.
"In relation to crowds and people around the town, there were very limited incidents of offensive or bad behaviour," he said.
"Police thank Bathurst and the community in general for their behaviour over the four days, considering the amount of people over town, the atrocious weather, and the huge amount of traffic that was leaving Bathurst on the Sunday and in particular Monday morning, when people were going to work and schools were going back."
With the wet weather across the event, the camping and parking areas around Mount Panorama quickly became a muddy mess.
Chief Inspector Cogdell said a lot of people required assistance to retrieve their vehicles over the weekend, with there being about 80 retrievals that he was aware of.
Police assisted campers to leave the precinct following the event, and Chief Inspector Cogdell said that people cooperated with police and exited the area safely.
"That was extremely important to us, that everyone got off the Mount safely," he said.
"To put it in perspective, there was over 7100 campsites through that Mount Panorama precinct. We received no reports of any injuries or concerns regarding damage to motor vehicles, and removed everyone safely.
"So, thank you very much to all the emergency services who assisted with us, Supercars, the township of Bathurst ... it was an absolutely great effort all the way through, from the townsfolk right through to all the emergency services, the council, and V8 Supercars to get everyone safely from the Mount out of those atrocious conditions that people put up with over the Bathurst 1000."
The one thing that did disappoint police, though, were the people who got behind the wheel with alcohol or drugs in their system.
Police were very clear in the lead up to the event that this behaviour would not be tolerated, but some did not heed that message.
"There was a number of persons detected over that time that were driving under the influence of either alcohol or a drug, which is extremely, extremely disappointing," Chief Inspector Cogdell said.
"It's disappointing at any time, but especially with additional people on the roads, increased traffic flow, and the weather conditions, they are putting themselves, their friends, their family, and other road users at risk due to their behaviour."
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