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Police state: How long NSW COVID-19 powers will last

Tough new police powers that could see people fined for leaving the house for non-essential reasons will last for 90 days, the police commissioner has said.

But some people are still flouting the rules and a fed-up Mick Fuller also made a strongly worded plea in statement this morning, urging NSW residents to comply with social distancing rules to help save lives.

"As I keep saying, a good rule of thumb is that if you are questioning whether you should be doing something, it is best to give it a miss. Treat every situation like YOU have the virus. DO THAT. SAVE LIVES," Commissioner Fuller said.

Police tape blocks the entry to Gordon’s Bay beach but people were seen climbing through to enjoy a swim. Picture John Grainger
Police tape blocks the entry to Gordon’s Bay beach but people were seen climbing through to enjoy a swim. Picture John Grainger

The state's top cop said officers are continuing to enforce strict social distancing measures by telling people to move on if they are not obeying the rules.

It comes after confusion about what is allowed under the regulations, put in place on Monday night.

"Four men (were) in a park drinking alcohol, not exercise. Three of the men left, one refused to go. He got a $1,000 ticket," Mick Fuller said.

"You know, I think it's entirely appropriate. I'm reviewing all of these tickets personally, which would never happen again for any other time."

 

Regulations giving police powers to fine those doing the wrong thing will expire in 90 days. The police commissioner said he wasn't planning to ask for an extension of the powers.

"People will have gotten the message by then, hopefully," he said.

Police tape blocks the entry to Gordon’s Bay beach but people were seen climbing through to enjoy a swim. Picture John Grainger
Police tape blocks the entry to Gordon’s Bay beach but people were seen climbing through to enjoy a swim. Picture John Grainger


On Thursday morning, swimmers were spotted defying the police tape around Gordon's Bay beach. The popular eastern suburbs beach was cordoned off to stop people from gathering.

Police were also ready and waiting for the early risers exercising at Coogee beach, officers on motorbikes patrolled the area on the lookout for anyone breaking the rules.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she hoped the government would not have to put in place any tougher lockdown measures to combat community spread of COVID-19.

"If everybody does the right thing, I'm hoping we don't have to go to anything further beyond this point," she said.

 

A motorcycle police man patrols Coogee beach just after sunrise. Picture John Grainger
A motorcycle police man patrols Coogee beach just after sunrise. Picture John Grainger

 

Yesterday, Bondi's famous lifeguards were doing their bit to help encourage Sydneysiders stay inside. They used shovels to etch the hashtag #STAYHOME in the sand. Beachgoers forced the closure of the beach after they ignored newly-issued public gathering rules on March 20.

Bondi Rescue Lifegards on Bondi Beach writing #stayhome in the sand, on the first morning of new restrictions to help limit the spread of Covid-19. Picture Rohan Kelly
Bondi Rescue Lifegards on Bondi Beach writing #stayhome in the sand, on the first morning of new restrictions to help limit the spread of Covid-19. Picture Rohan Kelly

 

Originally published as Police state: How long NSW COVID-19 powers will last



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