30 July 2020

Police continue to investigate fake COVID-19 letters

| Michael Weaver
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The one-page letter that has been delivered to residents.

The one-page letter that was delivered to residents in Garran and Watson. Photo: Supplied.

ACT Policing is seeking information regarding the distribution of letters that make a number of false claims about COVID-19.

The letter was distributed in suburbs next to the Canberra Hospital and the COVID-19 Surge Centre at Garran on Friday, 17 July. A similar letter was dropped in letterboxes along streets including Bettie McNee St in Watson on Tuesday, 21 July.

READ MORE Fake newsletter “full of far-fetched lies” about COVID-19 testing delivered to Garran residents

A large number of people have been in contact with ACT Health expressing anger and frustration about the letter, and asking whether police could investigate.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith labelled the one-page flyer as a “conspiracy” and “dangerous misinformation”.

“What we really need to do is get the message out that this is really full of far-fetched lies, it is absolutely conspiracy theory stuff, and doesn’t bear any resemblance to the truth,” Ms Stephen-Smith said after the fake flyers were first distributed.

Commander of ACT Policing’s COVID-19 Taskforce Detective Superintendent Jason Kennedy said it was important people seek information from a trusted source.

“At this time, ACT Policing is aware of these letters being distributed in two suburbs; however, anyone who has received one anywhere in the ACT should let us know about it,” Detective Superintendent Kennedy said.

“We are calling for any witnesses who may have seen someone in these areas distributing these letters. We urge residents in the Garran and Watson areas to check their CCTV or dash-cam footage for any video that may assist with this investigation.

“The ACT Government has a dedicated website containing extensive information for the public and a COVID-19 hotline (6207 7244) to address any concerns members of the community may have.”

Anyone with information that could assist police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website. Please quote reference 6578529.

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