Do the right thing or cop a fine

Do the right thing or cop a fine

East Gippsland police will play a role in ensuring people donʼt congregate on the streets because of COVID-19.

To date, police report there have been no outstanding incidents to speak of.

Acting Superintendent Mark Edwards who oversees both the East Gippsland and Wellington Shire areas, said police would be patrolling the streets to ensure compliance and provide reassurance to people.

“We’re all in this together so we need everyone to do the right thing.”

Acting Superintendent Edwards said there would be increased patrols around Centrelink, supermarkets and doctor’s surgeries to ensure everyone keeps calm.

He said police would also patrol beaches and people congregating in groups to ensure everyone was abiding by the new Federal Government restrictions that no more than two people are together, except if it’s a family group.

“COVID-19 is a huge health and safety issue, with older people and those with medical conditions at risk if people don’t play by the rules,” Acting Superintendent Edwards said.

“Our assistant commissioner has made it clear there will be a zero tolerance approach. Those who flout the rules will cop a ticket straight up.”

In Mallacoota, police say they’ve received no calls or complaints regarding compliance.

The caravan parks and camping grounds have been closed and police report very few, if any, tourists are in the area.

“It’s very quiet at the moment which is a good thing because we have an older population and we don’t need to get a virus in our little town,” Leading Senior Constable Angus Webb said.

“We haven’t had to shut the beaches because we don’t have the crowds so we aren’t experiencing those sorts of issues.”

Beaches in Melbourne have been closed after Premier Daniel Andrews blasted people defying social distancing and stay at home orders by sitting on St Kilda beach last week.

In Orbost, local police report quiet streets with the closing of the Orbost Club Hotel.

Acting Sergeant Andrea Craigie told the News that police would breakup people congregating, but to date there had been no reports of that occurring.

She said people were still allowed to exercise and go to the beach, provided “they go for a swim, get out and go home”.

IMAGE: First Constable Ryan Finlay and Senior Constable Justin McCallum are among several police patrolling Bairnsdaleʼs streets to ensure everyone is adhering to the new COVID-19 regulations introduced by the Federal Government in regards to social distancing and not congregating. K270-5630