Mildura Police confident community will abide by social distancing rules

MILDURA Police Superintendent Rebecca Olsen is confident the community will continue to do the right thing when it comes to new social distancing restrictions.

On Saturday, the State Government announced new on-the-spot fines for those who breached physical-distancing rules designed to stop the spread of coronavirus.

On-the-spot infringement notices of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses can be issued by police for refusing or failing to comply with the Chief Health Officer (CHO) and Deputy Chief Health Officer emergency directions or public health risk directions.

The tough restrictions came as people continued to ignore requests not to congregate in groups, particularly on beaches around the Surf Coast and Melbourne.

But Supt Olsen confirmed on Tuesday that no fines had yet been issued in the Mallee.

"Absolutely this is not about raising revenue," she told Sunraysia Daily.

"Issuing a penalty notice in this current emergency when our community is suffering in many ways particularly financially is a last resort.

"Having lived and worked in the Mallee for many years now I know this community will act as it should and abide by the restrictions. That’s what we do - we look after each other."

Police have launched Operation Sentinel, which is currently underway and is co-ordinating resources from across the state and locally across the Mallee, which enforces government imposed community restrictions related to COVID-19.

"This will include proactive spot checks of people required to self-isolate, business subject to mandated closures, enforcement of prohibited gatherings and responding to the public reports of noncompliance," Supt Olsen said.

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton warned that if some Victorians didn't changed their "really crap" behaviour then Australia was on its way to "thousands of deaths" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We all have a part to play in reducing the risk can I please ask that you do what is asked of you and your family," he said.
If there are any concerns that members of the public would like to raise then they need to contact the Police Assistance Help line or contact 000.