Chief Commissioner Shane Patton told Neil Mitchell on 3AW this morning he was aware of at least seven infringements being handed out since stage three restrictions came into effect across 10 Melbourne postcodes on Wednesday.
But Comm. Patton said there “may be more out there”.
Five infringements were handed out to a group of offenders driving around with drugs and weapons. In addition to criminal charges, they also received fines for breaching restrictions.
In another case, a woman from a hotspot area was fined for “chilling with friends” in the city. Comm. Patton said she was initially stopped by police for obtaining a hammer.
“Previously there has been a bit of leeway, that bit of give, but not now,” he said.
‘Where people are so obvious and blatant they’ll be getting tickets. Sometimes drastic situations call for drastic action.”
Under the Chief Health Officer’s directives, there are only four reasons for people living in the 36 impacted Melbourne suburbs to leave home: shopping/supplies, work or education, compassionate or care reasons and exercise.
A booze-bus style operation has commenced across some of the restricted postcodes, with people being questioned by police about their movements as part of the tough new stance of compliance.
“You’d have to have been on Mars not to understand that the Chief Health officer restrictions apply in these 36 suburbs and that you’re expected to adhere to them,” Comm. Patton said yesterday.
“So for those reasons, I have instructed all of our officers that – that window of leniency – it may exist on some very small few occasions, but other than that, people are expected to get tickets for $1652.”
Businesses who fail to comply with restrictions could also face fines of up to $100,000 for breaching regulations.