ACT Policing has released footage of a man allegedly coughing or sneezing in the direction of other passengers on Canberra’s light rail network.
The footage, from almost a month ago (26 March), shows the man sitting and sneezing or coughing, and then in a heated discussion with another passenger.
The man then appears to cough or sneeze in the direction of another person before exiting at the Dickson stop.
An ACT Policing spokesperson said they are seeking to identify the man involved in the alleged assault on the light rail vehicle. It is not known whether the assault constituted more than coughing in the direction of other passengers.
ACT Policing has previously reminded the community that “threats involving COVID-19 will be treated seriously and penalties, including jail time, can be imposed”.
The ACT Policing spokesperson said the incident took place on Thursday, 26 March at about 3:30 pm on board the Gunghalin-bound light rail vehicle.
“Police are now releasing CCTV footage of the man they want to speak to in relation to this incident in an effort to identify him or speak to anyone who witnessed the incident,” the ACT Policing spokesperson said.
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 6514592.
In NSW, people who cough or spit on health workers, police, pharmacists, paramedics or other public officials during the COVID-19 pandemic risk a $5,000 on-the-spot fine.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said it is incomprehensible that measures like this are necessary during a deadly global pandemic but police stand ready to respond.
“Foul acts like coughing and spitting, which can potentially spread COVID-19, pose a risk to public safety, so police won’t hesitate to take action,” Mr Fuller said.