A Melbourne man has been fined for buying a bottle of water outside of his suburb as police continue to crackdown on the state’s COVID-19 stage three restrictions.
The man was stopped on the road by police while driving in South Melbourne. He claimed he was travelling to buy a bottle of water, but his identification showed he lived in Melbourne’s outer-east, in Wantirna South.
READ MORE:The blacklisted activities Victorians have been fined for amid COVID-19
The infringement follows a stack of other penalties issued to shutdown law-breakers in the past 24 hours, with officers issuing 78 fines for non-compliance of the stage three restrictions.
Police today raided a Ripponlea synagogue in Melbourne’s inner-south, where a group of Orthodox Jewish men gathered for a Passover prayer meeting.
It was the second day in a row that police had been called to the prayer room.
Officers wore protective masks as they issued the male organiser with a $1652 fine.
In another case, two men were fined for a watching a movie inside their car in a public place. While a group of six people copped an infringement for gathering, telling police they were “just chilling” when officers arrived. The group had previously been warned by police.
Another group of four people were also fined for gathering illegally, despite receiving previous police warnings. Four people were also penalised for “driving around aimlessly”, with some of the occupants of the car caught attempting to hide when they saw police.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said police had issued a total of 569 infringements, on top of hundreds of warnings.
“We are having people who are conducting gatherings, they are still doing Airbnb-type parties, we are having people drink outside, drink outside with mates in parks – it’s totally unacceptable,” he said.
“We are issuing a lot of offences to criminals – such as drugs, burglary, thefts – who are also getting infringements issued to them. Groups of people driving around aimlessly – this is just reckless. It’s those type of breaches we are applying the infringements to.
“It’s deliberate, it’s blatant and it’s obvious.”
Police Minister Lisa Neville said Victoria’s police assistance line had been flooded with people dobbing in restriction law-breakers, receiving more than 2,600 calls yesterday alone. Of those non-urgent police matters, 2,350 were about COVID-19.
“The police assistance lines are every day receiving significant calls of people reporting people who are doing the wrong thing. And police investigate those matters and issue fines as a result of that,” she said.
“It needs to be a very different Easter this year.”
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