Australian Police Smashing Car Windows and Pulling People Out, the Military Deployed
Some 500 military personnel will be deployed to Australia’s second most populous state, Victoria, to enforce coronavirus isolation orders.
Anyone caught breaking the rules will face a tough fine as high as A$20,000 (£10,900), with the only exception being for urgent medical care.
Earlier this week, Victoria imposed a night-time curfew, tightened restrictions on people’s movements during the day and ordered large parts of the economy to close in order to slow the spread of the virus.
However, nearly a third of those who contracted Covid-19 were not isolating at home when checked on by officials, Victoria state’s premier, Daniel Andrews, said on Tuesday.
“There is literally no reason for you to leave your home and if you were to leave your home and not be found there, you will have a very difficult time convincing Victoria police that you have a lawful reason,” Mr Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.
He said 500 military personnel will be deployed to enforce the self-isolation orders, with fines of nearly A$5,000 (£2,700), for those breaching the rules. Repeat offenders will face a fine of up to A$20,000, he said.
Victoria’s police chief commissioner, Shane Patton, said officers had been forced to smash car windows to get some residents to comply with the restrictions.
He said: “In the last week we’ve seen a trend of groups of people who classify themselves as sovereign citizens, whatever that might mean. People who don’t think the law applies to them. We’ve seen them at checkpoints, baiting police, not providing their name and address.
“On at least three or four occasions in the past week we’ve had to smash the windows of people in cars and pull them out of there so they could provide their details because they weren’t telling us where they were going, they weren’t adhering to the chief health officer guidelines, they weren’t providing their name and their address.
“We don’t want to be doing that, but people have to absolutely understand there are consequences for your actions and if you aren’t doing the right thing we will not hesitate to issue infringements, to arrest you, to detain you where it’s appropriate.”
On Monday, Victoria announced 429 new infections and 13 more deaths overnight.
The country as a whole has recorded nearly 19,000 cases and 232 deaths, far fewer than many other developed nations, after it closed its international borders early and imposed social distancing restrictions and mass testing.
However, as it began to reopen, community transmissions leapt in Victoria, which has recorded triple digit new cases for weeks.
Nearly 12,000 of the country’s reported cases were found in Victoria.
State officials said the latest wave of infections has been caused by residents refusing to adhere to restrictions on their movements. [Utter nonsense. Infections are up duo to seasonal factors and because lockdowns do not work.]
“There are a number of people who have knowingly breached the curfew – so somebody who decided they were bored and they were going to go out for a drive [how are you going to transmit the disease from the inside of your car?], somebody who decided that they needed to buy a car after 8pm [when there are far fewer people around] last night,” Victoria’s minister for police, Lisa Neville, told reporters in Melbourne.
Source: The Independent