Sydney business and repeat offender among latest Public Health Order infringements

A man will face court today after police allege he did not comply with self-isolation ministerial directions in Sydney on three separate occasions.

On Wednesday 18 March 2020, a 30-year-old man arrived at Sydney International Airport on a flight from Jordan, and was advised he would be required to self-isolate for a 14-day period.

On Saturday 20 March 2020, he was arrested by police attached to Fairfield City Police Area Command at Edensor Park for an outstanding warrant and granted court bail, which included a condition that he obey the directions of the Health Minister to self-isolate.

About 1.20am Saturday 28 March 2020, the man was stopped by the Eastern Beaches Proactive Crime Team in Banksia Street, Pagewood and issued with a $1000 Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) for failing to comply with a direction under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW).

About 10pm the same evening, officers from Sydney City Police Area Command spoke to the man on Pitt Street in Sydney’s CBD. He was arrested and later charged for breach of bail and non-compliance with a ministerial direction under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW).

He was granted conditional bail to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday 6 May 2020.

Due to the man’s failure to self-isolate at his home address at Edensor Park, a Public Health Order was also served upon him directing him to do so at a serviced apartment at Camperdown.

Yesterday (Sunday 29 March 2020), the man was taken to the Camperdown apartments where police will allege he again failed to comply and was arrested while attempting to leave the accommodation.

He was taken to Sydney City Police Station and charged with not comply with Public Health Order under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW). He was refused bail and will appear in Central Local Court today (Monday 30 March 2020).

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, said some people are just not getting the severity of the situation.

“This repeat offender’s reckless and selfish behaviour could have dangerous consequences to the community at large at a time when the vast majority are united to protect lives,” Minister Elliott said.

“I commend police on their continued efforts to ensure those who breach self-isolation directions face the full force of the law. This includes an on-the-spot fine of $1000 for individuals, and a maximum $11000 fine and six months imprisonment where a Court Attendance Notice is issued.”

In a separate incident, three infringements were issued after police uncovered a restaurant operating on George Street in Sydney overnight.

Officers attached to Sydney City Police Area Command were conducting a patrol in the Sydney CBD when they observed about 8-10 males inside a Japanese restaurant playing poker and drinking alcohol.

As police entered the restaurant, a number of males fled the scene.

Officers spoke with the male business owner and issued him with a $5000 PIN for failing to comply with a ministerial direction under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW).

Two men were also issued with $1000 PINs.

Inquiries continue with further action expected to be taken regarding illegal gaming and licensing offences.

NSW Police Force Commissioner Mick Fuller said police will continue to do everything possible to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19.

“The actions police have taken so far indicate how serious we are in the fight to ensure the safety of the people of New South Wales,” Commissioner Fuller said.

“Officers will be doing everything in their power to ensure compliance – but we will not succeed in stopping the spread of this virus unless we have the community’s cooperation.”

NSW Police officers now have the additional power to issue Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) to anyone found to be in contravention of a ministerial direction under the Public Health Act.

PINs carry on-the-spot fines of $1000 for individuals and $5000 for businesses.

Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

/Public Release. View in full here.