Illawarra Newsroom

Lake Illawarra Cops to crack down on new public health orders

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Lake Illawarra Police District Commander, Superintendent Dean Smith has promised officers will be conducting proactive high visibility patrols across the district to make sure people are following the social distancing guidelines and public health orders focussed on slowing the spread of Coronavirus.

"Our Police are here to make sure that people are as safe as possible, but I want to assure you Police are also committed to using all the powers available to us to enforce all Covid-19 related public health orders and play our part in stopping the spread of this virus.

"Disturbingly, our officers have already responded to a number of reports of breaches of self-isolation by members of the community.

"This places others at risk, it is irresponsible and we will take the appropriate action.

Police can now issue a Penalty Infringement Notice, or an on-the-spot fine, for the offence of not complying with a ministerial direction or a public health order.

The on the spot fine is $1000 for individuals and $5000 for businesses.

"I want to assure the community we will be using this power.

"This means if someone is ordered to self-isolate and they do not comply, or if people do not adhere to social distancing rules, Police will respond and take the appropriate action," Superintendent Smith said.

The Ministerial Directions that Police are enforcing include self-isolation of diagnosed persons, self-isolation of incoming travellers, mass gatherings and social distancing rules and the closure of social gathering places (pubs, clubs and restaurants).

The first fines were issued by NSW Police yesterday just hours after the new regulations took effect.

A Sydney massage parlour was busted operating despite a nationwide closure order in place to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

The owner was hit with a $5,000 fine while three workers were fined $1,000 each.

A woman in the Hunter was fined for failing to properly self-isolate after returning from Bali.

Image: Travis Winks