Police not hesitating to hand out fines across Northern region

Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna APM

Police across Northern NSW including here in Newcastle and the Hunter are out in droves to catch people who aren’t complying with the Public Health Order.

Officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol and all 11 police districts in the Northern Region are currently undertaking Operation Boundary Response, conducting high-visibility operations to saturate the main arterial roads throughout Northern NSW.

Operation Boundary Response is an addition to the operations police already have in place on the M1 Motorway, the New England Highway, the Hunter Expressway and the Pacific Highway, plus numerous rural roads and back routes throughout the regions.

Police will also be utilising automatic number plate recognition as well as data from Roads and Maritime NSW to identify vehicles from outside of the area.

Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna, Northern Region Commander and Regional Emergency Operations Controller said we all need to continue following the rules so we can put lockdown behind us.

“We’re all in this together, we need to abide by these public health orders and do everything we can to stop the spread of this virus,” he said.

“That means you have to wear a mask at all times the Public Health Order says you have to wear a mask, you have to QR code when you go into business premises, we need to make sure we’re staying at home unless there’s a really essential reason to leave home. We don’t have to go panic buying at shops because that is an essential reason,”

“But the quicker we get hold of this virus, the quicker we put it at bay to stop it from spreading further the quicker we will be out of these lockdowns and be able to get back to business,” said Assistant Commissioner McKenna.

“The great thing is in Regional NSW, our regional communities, we’re used to rolling our sleeves up,we’re used to banding together in times of crisis and when the going gets tough so I really call on the community to make that effort and work with us and make sure we can get out of lockdown as quickly as possible.”

On Monday alone, police issued the following:

  • Vehicles interacted with relating to Public Health Order – 394
  • Vehicles detected travelling against PHO and turned around – 7
  • PIN issued for face covering offence – individual – 8
  • PIN issued for breach of Public Health Order – Individual – 9
  • Warnings issued relating to PHO offences – 3
  • RBT Conducted – 486
  • RDT Conducted – 10 (one positive detection)

Two people were issued with $500 PINs for not wearing a face mask at Tarro – police said a person must not travel in a vehicle in the Newcastle and Hunter area, Armidale area, Tamworth area or Northern Rivers areas, with another person except someone from their household or their nominated visitor.

“We will be taking action and that could come in the form of fines, it could come in the form of being arrested and charged depending on the charges,” said Assistant Commissioner McKenna.

Image credit: Jessica Rouse