An advertised show of force by NSW police in South West Sydney sends the wrong message about the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus and will do nothing to prevent it, Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller has said.
Mayor Waller commended the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for attempting to reassure the community that a 100-strong boosted police presence in South West Sydney was not a targeted blitz, but is concerned that the perception is otherwise.
“When we see mounted police and officers arriving from other parts of Sydney that does not feel like a community policing exercise,” Mayor Waller said. “It’s great fodder for the news television crews as well for all the wrong reasons and perpetuates negative stereotypes about South West Sydney.
“We didn’t see the same messaging throughout the Bondi outbreak, the ramifications of which continue to be felt. What message is this sending to the law-abiding people of Liverpool who I represent and to the rest of Sydney?”
Mayor Waller said that the Premier should instead be allocating more resources to NSW Health to improve the dissemination of public health order information in emerging languages.
“NSW Health is doing a great job, but it is very hard to keep on top of this issue and the Premier should be adopting a health approach rather than a policing approach to this problem – across all of Sydney.”
“Council has and will continue to support the work of NSW Health by getting the message out to residents during this time on social media and other channels.
“We are now calling on the NSW Government to deliver an appropriate and measured solution.”
Mayor Waller said she would like to see NSW Health officers, rather than police, on the streets of Liverpool and other areas of South West Sydney.
She also supports a vaccination hub in Liverpool and pointed to the large number of workers in the Liverpool Local Government Area who have no choice but to leave home to work.