Victoria Police update on enforcement of CHO directions

Friday, 30 July 2021, 13:15 –

Victoria Police continues to deploy significant resources along the border and across the state enforcing Chief Health Officer directions.

Currently there are around 1300 police and PSO resources dedicated to coronavirus-related enforcement.

This includes around 400 roving patrols along the NSW and SA borders, 250 patrolling the rest of the state and responding to breaches of directions and 400 at quarantine hotels.

Since border patrols commenced on 26 June 2021, police have checked 76,630 people along state borders or on major routes near the border.

The majority of checks (60,793) were conducted at alcohol and drug testing bus locations, with the remainder (15,837) undertaken by mobile patrol units.

Overall compliance has been overwhelmingly high at 98.9%, which is pleasing to see.

Most people who were found to be non-compliant have been either naive or unaware of the required process.

For example, checks of freight permits used at the border has found that sections may not have been appropriately completed. The drivers have attempted to do the right thing; however they have made errors in the process.

In the majority of these instances the drivers were issued a warning and have been instructed to go back to their original destination and return with the correct paperwork.

When fines have been issued, it has been to people entering Victoria without a permit or, if the person has come from a red zone, attempting to travel into Victoria without an exemption.

That said, there have been very few fines issued daily – sometimes none- as most drivers are compliant and are trying to do the right thing.

Since the stay at home orders were announced in New South Wales, Victoria Police has seen a significant reduction of traffic between the states. Most vehicles are either from the approved border zone or heavy transport moving freight.

Across the state of Victoria and away from the border, compliance has once again been extremely high.

There have only been small numbers of fines issued and the majority of them were during the stage 4 lockdown when people were not adhering to the stay at home directives or travelling further than 5km from home.

Compliance regarding the wearing of face masks has also been very high and only a small number of fines have been issued for this.

In recent weeks, police have seen a re-emergence of people hosting large parties at homes and short-stay apartments in breach of the Chief Health Officer directions.

Police have been responding to these reports and issuing fines accordingly.

Finally, Victoria Police is currently in the midst of a three-day blitz checking on people who are meant to be isolating at home.

Starting yesterday (Thursday 29 July), around 100 police are knocking on doors to make sure people are doing the right thing and isolating.

These checks are in addition to those already conducted by ADF and authorised officers.

Quotes to be attributed to Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent

“The combination of fixed and roving patrols at the state borders have been really successful as it allows us to check both main arterials and back roads.

“When we only had fixed borders this significantly impacted on border communities and freight movement, which were permitted under the directions.

“Now we have the ability to deploy vehicles at border crossing sites and deeper into Victoria to effectively identify unauthorised entry to the state.

“The border communities have benefited from this roving model as there have been next to no traffic congestion and approved travellers can get to work and school without delays.

“While it’s been really pleasing to see such a high compliance rate at the border and across the state, we have seen people blatantly breaching CHO directions. On these occasions, we have not hesitated to issue $1817 fines.”