Australia (9news)

Victorian couple mistakenly fined $1600 over holiday photo posted on Facebook

By June 15, 2020 No Comments
A Victorian couple has been mistakenly fined for posting year-old photos from their holiday in East Gippsland on Facebook.
Jaz and Garry Mott from Traralgon, were fined $1652 each for breaching stay-at home laws after sharing their Lakes Entrance snaps in a social media throwback.
“It’s very demeaning for me … because it made me feel really small and like I can’t trust them,” Mrs Mott told 9News.
A Victorian couple were mistakenly fined after posting a throwback holiday photo.(Supplied)
The fine was later revoked after they alerted authorities the photo was from last year.(Supplied)
Police revoked the fine after they alerted authorities to the mistake.
The blunder comes as one of Victoria’s top police officers warned law enforcement to use “common sense” or risk losing public confidence, following a crackdown on social distancing laws around the state.
Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said there had been inconsistencies in the way lockdown measures were being enforced, with a number of fines issued over the long weekend being revoked.  
The concern was revealed in internal communications seen by The Age.
Queensland Police stop vehicles at a police checkpoint set up at the Queensland and New South Wales border.(Getty)
“I am concerned that there continues to be an inconsistent approach from our members when enforcing the directives of the Chief Health Officer,” Mr Patton said.
There have also been inconsistencies between different council measures with some taking matters into their own hands, making it difficult for residents to keep track of the rules.
The Easter weekend saw a sharp rise in the number of fines being issued for non-compliance with isolation and travel restrictions.
A total of 532 infringements were issued in Victoria over the long weekend.
Mr Patton reassured reporters today officers were not scanning social media to issue infringements, amid fears accounts were being monitored following the Victorian couple’s fine.
Victoria Police Protective Services Officers move people on at St Kilda beach in Melbourne.(AAP Image/Scott Barbour)
“We are not actively scanning social media to see if people are breaking the rules,” he said.
“We will make mistakes and we are happy to admit it when we get it wrong.”
Mr Patton vowed to personally review every fine that has been issued from today in a bid to wipe out discrepancies.
“On a daily basis, every infringement that’s been issued will be reviewed by the superintendant in charge of Operation Sentinel. I will be personally provided a report and I will review every one of those personally to ensure – A they have been appropriately issued and B – there is common sense being applied and it does pass that test.
“I want to be absolutely certain we have it right.”
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