17 August 2021

Police increase COVID-19 compliance activity, eight infringement notices issued

| David Murtagh
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Police compliance check

AFP conduct COVID compliance checks at the NSW/ACT border, Federal Highway. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

After significantly increasing its COVID-19 compliance enforcement efforts since the ACT’s lockdown commenced last Thursday (12 August), ACT Policing has announced it’s issued eight infringement notices, seven cautions and directed 48 people to leave the Territory.

Police report overall community compliance has been high as most people are aware of the rules. However, since the lockdown was announced, police have fined people for a range of reasons, including workers painting an unfinished new home and a driver who allegedly claimed to be a rideshare worker but could not prove this.

Three men, arrested for criminal matters, were also charged with breaching health directions.

READ MORE Police to move on store crowds as ACT records 17 new COVID-19 cases

In one case overnight, a 43-year-old Queanbeyan man was charged with contravening health directions and other offences after officers in Weston spoke with the man and asked him to wear a face mask. The man refused to do so and was arrested after disclosing he was not in the ACT for essential work or health care. A search of his possessions revealed several stolen items.

In Road Policing activities (some jointly conducted with NSW Police), more than 2700 drivers have been spoken to by police at random compliance operations since Thursday.

Police will continue to stop vehicles both within the ACT and at border crossings to ensure people from interstate or entering the ACT are entitled to be in the Territory.

Face-to-face compliance activity was also ramped up following the lockdown announcement, with police conducting 3813 in-person checks at homes, hotels and businesses.

READ MORE Still house hunting in lockdown? Here are the rules

ACT Policing COVID-19 Taskforce Inspector Naomi Binstead said there was very clear advice about what restrictions are in place during the lockdown.

“While we have seen a good overall level of compliance across the ACT, there are still those few people that have decided they either know better or that these important rules do not apply to them,” Inspector Binstead said.

“As the Chief Police Officer has repeatedly said – stay at home unless you meet the reasons identified by ACT Health and check the ACT Health website for the most up-to-date information.”

“Also, please do not call police for general COVID-19 lockdown information. A significant number of calls have been received by our operations centre and the vast majority of these are already clearly answered on the ACT Health website.”

Visit the ACT COVID-19 site for the most up to date information.

To make reports of non-compliance, visit Access Canberra or contact the COVID-19 Helpline on 6207 7244 (8:00 am and 8:00 pm, 7 days a week).

For police assistance, call 131 444.

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