NSW Police have launched an operation in Orange and surrounding areas to ensure compliance with the new COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
NSW Health was alerted to new venues of concern associated with confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and implemented new restrictions for the Orange City Council, Blayney Shire Council, and Cabonne Shire Council areas.
As part of the local response, a joint local emergency management committee has been established at Orange, chaired by deputy regional emergency operations controller Chief Inspector Peter Atkins.
The committee, which will meet virtually each day, involves representatives from Orange City Council, Blayney Shire Council and Cabonne Shire Council, partner agencies across the NSW government, and a number of welfare services.
Regional NSW field operations Deputy Commissioner Mick Willing said police were there to support the region during this time of uncertainty, and are used to working with communities to ensure compliance.
"I want to say to the communities affected by this public health order - it has never been more important to abide by the rules in place," Deputy Commissioner Willing said.
"Our officers do not want to issue fines - they want to see everyone abiding by the public health orders, as they were introduced for the health and safety of everyone.
"So please stay at home unless you absolutely need to leave the house. If you do need to leave home for an essential reason, put on a mask, and check-in to any retail or business premises you visit.
"Regional communities are particularly well known for banding together and supporting each other in difficult times, so I would implore everyone in the affected areas to do just that, to give us the best chance of eliminating COVID-19 from the area."
Officers from Central West Police District and Chifley Police District will also be conducting high-visibility proactive patrols, compliance checks on businesses and individuals, as well as responding to all Crime Stoppers reports.
Western region commander Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie urged the community to continue to work with police as they carried out their duties, to make sure there was no further transmission of the virus.
"We've seen what impact this virus has had on the Sydney metropolitan area in recent weeks, so police will continue to be visible on the ground, and we simply ask that people to work with us and do the right thing," Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.
"I have been heartened in recent weeks by the assistance of the community in policing all public health orders and would like to appeal to our locals to continue to call Crime Stoppers if they see people doing the wrong thing.
"Your information is invaluable and we will continue to follow up every single report we receive.
"If we all work together, these new restrictions have the potential to stop the spread of the virus and save lives."
Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.
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