Police numbers set to swell

February 10, 2017

POLICE will again have a large presence at the weekend when race enthusiasts from far and wide descend on Echuca-Moama.

But the number of police personnel has wound back from what it used to be with the number of incidents decreasing in the past years.

And all they asked was for people to have a good time in a responsible manner.

Area manager for Campaspe Shire Police David Rowe will be the acting inspector during this year’s Southern 80 and said he looked forward to supporting the event for another year.

‘‘The committee are getting more professional each year,’’ he said.

‘‘Certainly in the last five years they’ve really worked hard as a group to make sure the event is a success and we all want that as well.’’

And he had some key messages for people wanting to take part in the weekend’s activities.

‘‘Come along and if you’re going to have a drink, drink responsibly and think about how your actions are impacting on others,’’ he said.

‘‘But most of all come along and have a good time.’’

Insp Rowe said local police will again be joined by police from Melbourne and surrounding areas to assist them during the weekend.

At the time he couldn’t confirm an exact number, but added it would be fewer than previous years.

‘‘A lot of the issues in relation to public drunkenness and loudish behaviour have really dropped off in recent times which is fantastic,’’ he said.

‘‘The event is becoming more family focused and we’re happy about that.

‘‘It allows people just to go about their business and really enjoy the event.’’

The concerns for police were mainly about incidents taking place on the roads and in forest areas along the Murray River.

‘‘They are the issues we will be targeting as well as assisting to keep people out of the water if it’s a hot day,’’ Insp Rowe said.

‘‘We work hand in glove with the NSW Police and Parks Victoria in relation to forest areas along the course to provide support during the race.

‘‘There are some issues with access this year due to the floods so we’ll be providing some vehicles to allow our people to get in and do their work.’’

Insp Rowe said the number of people watching the race from the banks brought its challenges, but police would be doing the best they could to keep everyone safe.

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