Update on COVID-19 policing compliance activities

The NSW Police Force continues to escalate its compliance activities throughout greater Sydney and across the state in response to yesterday’s announcement of further restrictions under the Public Health Order.

General duties police will be out in force undertaking high visibility patrols to ensure the community is educated and complies with the new requirements of the Public Health Order, which have been introduced across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour, to further limit the spread of the COVID-19 Delta strain.

The new restrictions include:

  • Residents of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool LGAs cannot leave their LGA for work except for authorised workers such as emergency services and healthcare workers (including aged and disability workers);
  • Anyone who leaves the home must have a mask with them at all times; and
  • No carpooling unless among members of the same household.

Specialist officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Police Transport Command and the Police Mounted Unit will patrol roadways and transport hubs, in support of local policing efforts to maximise compliance.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said that the policing response has been commensurate to the severity of the risk of the virus spreading.

“I share the community’s disgust in the selfish behaviour of a small minority of people, who wilfully continue to flout the public health orders. In the past 24 hours, more than 20 people have been charged and will be before the courts for criminal breaches,” Mr Elliott said.

“We are nearly 19 months into the pandemic, police will be undertaking compliance activities with a strong focus on identifying non-compliance with the orders.

“I want to acknowledge the vast majority of the community, particularly residents of South West Sydney who continue to comply with the health orders. Compliance is the best possible way we can further limit the spread of the COVID-19 Delta strain.

“We have seen the devastating effects that some countries have had to deal with since the start of this pandemic. I know these restrictions are tough and certainly unprecedented in Australia, but we need to remember that this is a global pandemic,” he said.

Metropolitan Field Operations Deputy Commissioner Malcolm Lanyon said police are first and foremost appealing to the community to comply with the latest public health order.

“Clearly, no one wants to be living with these restrictions, but the best chance we have of getting out of this situation is if we all pull together to do our bit to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community,” Deputy Commissioner Lanyon said.

“Police do not want to have to have interactions with people who won’t comply but make no mistake if people do not abide by the public health order, we will not shy away from enforcing the orders.

“Around greater Sydney, police will be heavily focussed on ensuring compliance with mask wearing rules, stay at home provisions, carpooling rules, and limits to household-only interactions.

“In the last 24 hours police attended just over 1325 COVID-related jobs, about 860 of those were reports from members of the community to Crime Stoppers. This highlights that police are responding to the widespread concerns being raised by the community about breaches of the health orders,” he said.

Police will also continue to conduct business inspections and focus on compliance with QR code requirements.

Incidents involving breaches of the Public Health Order of note include:

  • About 7.45pm yesterday (Saturday 17 July), officers from Fairfield City Police Area Command observed approximately eight males walking through an underground carpark of a unit block on McBurney Street, Cabramatta. Police attempted to stop the group; however, they all ran from the location. A subsequent search of the area led to the arrest of a 17-year-old male who was then issued with an infringement. A man, aged 19, and a male aged 17, were charged with not comply with notice, use offensive language, and resisting arrest. The older man was refused bail and will appear in Parramatta Bail Court today (Sunday 18 July 2021), while the younger man was granted conditional bail to appear at a children’s court on Monday 9 August 2021. Inquiries continue.
  • About 8.10pm (Saturday 17 July), officers from Sydney City Police Area Command were conducting a business inspection in a supermarket on the corner of George and Park streets, Sydney, when they noticed a customer not wearing a mask. Officers approached the man and commenced inquiries. He allegedly refused to supply his details and became aggressive towards the officers, assaulting the female officer by twisting her wrist. He was arrested and taken to Day Street Police Station where he was charged with not wear fitted face covering, intimidation, stealing, assault police and resist arrest. He was refused bail to appear in Parramatta Bail Court today.
  • About 7.10pm (Saturday 17 July), police conducted an inspection at a fast food restaurant on George Street, Sydney, when they observed a man standing at the counter not wearing a mask. He was questioned about non-compliance and asked for his details. The man ran from police but was arrested after a short foot pursuit. He was charged at Day Street Police Station with not wear face covering, resist arrest and breaching his bail. He was refused bail and will appear in Parramatta Bail Court today.
  • About 7.30pm on Friday (16 July 2021), officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District were called to a restaurant on Town Centre Circuit, Salamander Bay, after reports of a breach of the public health order. Police were told a 33-year-old woman who is employed at the venue travelled to the Ryde LGA so she could help a friend move to a new house. The woman told police she stayed in Sydney overnight before returning that day. She was issued a $1000 PIN.

In total, 240 PINs were issued yesterday, with 53 of those $200 infringements for failing to wear a fitted face covering. A further 23 people were charged with failing to comply with Public Health Orders.

Compliance activities will continue to be undertaken by police in regional NSW, where restrictions remain unchanged.

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.

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