Regional NSW will get through this, says NSW Police Regional Field Operations Deputy Commissioner Mick Willing.
The message comes after Orange, Blaney and Cabonne local government areas were placed into a snap seven-day lockdown, following a number of confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Not new to the central west, Regional Field Operations, Deputy Commissioner Willing said while one regional community being forced into heavy restrictions was a first across Australia during the pandemic, he said he had "full faith" in the central west.
"We know it's frustrating and a real challenge for regional communities, but being a regional guy, I know that regional communities have got common sense, they know their community, they will do what needs to be done just to ensure that this doesn't spread," he said.
As part of the local response, a joint local emergency management committee was 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.
"That committee is up and running to ensure that those communities, are looked after, they've got access to welfare, they've got access to food and services that they need," Deputy Commissioner Willing said.
"Alongside that is the policing operation that will ensure compliance."
The Deputy Commissioner said local police were there to support the region during this time of uncertainty, and were very used to working with local communities to ensure compliance.
"We've been policing across the state for 18 months with COVID, in a variety of different orders," he said.
WhilePenalty Infringement Notices would be implemented for those not abiding by the Public Health Orders, particularly repeat offenders, Deputy Commissioner Willing said police were taking an educative approach rather than an enforcement one.
"There's been more warnings given than infringement notices over the course of the last few weeks and that's what we're trying to do," he said.
"Some people sadly are repeat offenders, and we've even seen people arrested and charged for matters of significance and repeat breaches, but we don't want to see that in regional NSW."
Echoing Deputy Police Commissioner Gary Worboys, Deputy Commissioner Willing said 70 per cent of jobs police had attended in the last 24-hours were a result of people reporting those doing the wrong thing, via Crime Stoppers.
"People are picking up the phone, which is a good thing and reporting potential breaches across the state," he said.
"Local communities, local towns know their people, they know who should be there and shouldn't be there.
"Firstly I would encourage everyone to abide by the health restrictions, let's get through it together and two, if they think somebody is doing the wrong thing pick up the phone and police will investigate it."
The Deputy Commissioner's advice to residents across regional NSW would be to check the NSW Health website to ensure they are aware of the restrictions and Public Health Orders, and if unwell get a COVID test.
"The restrictions are in place to ensure the Delta variant doesn't spread, that's the bottom line it's about safety," he said.
"People need to understand what those orders say, and for the next week or so my advice is stay at home, only leave home when you need to for those essential purposes outlined in the restrictions.
"We know its frustrating, and we know this is new, but we also know we will get through this together."
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