Five people caught “drinking and smoking, listening to loud music” in a suburban garage are among a record number of more than 270 Victorians fined by police for breaching stage four curfew restrictions.
In the past 24 hours, Victoria police conducted spot checks on homes, businesses and public places, fining a total of 276 people, surpassing the weekend numbers of 268 fines on Sunday and 197 on Saturday.
They include 74 people fined $1652 for breaching Melbourne’s 8pm to 5am curfew and another 37 fined $200 for failing to wear a face mask.
Police said the group of five, now almost $8500 poorer, was caught by police in a garage in Wyndham in Melbourne’s outer south-western suburbs – one of the state’s top LGA hotspots – following a noise complaint.
They will each receive a $1652 fine. All up, $455,952 went into the state’s coffers.
Another group of four men, all from different addresses, were fined after they “hanging out” in a Campbellfield car park.
A couple were caught travelling beyond 5km to go to a playground in Wyndham to play with their children because they were “sick of walking around their local area”.
A man in Kew was pulled over by police after curfew, claiming he was just out buying cigarettes, while another man was stopped in Yarra for being out after 8pm.
Under stage four restrictions applying to metropolitan Melbourne, people must stay at home between 8pm and 5am, unless they need to leave for work, medical care or caregiving.
Outside of those hours, residents can’t leave home unless they are shopping for food or essential items, for exercise, or for permitted work and must stay within a 5km radius of their homes.
Police said they also caught and fined 25 people at vehicle checkpoints and 37 for failing to wear a face covering when leaving home for one of the four approved reasons.
Under stage three restrictions applying to regional Victoria and Mitchell Shire, stay-at-home restrictions are in effect.
All Victorians must wear a face mask when they leave home.
Most Victorians doing the right thing
Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Monday morning the majority of Victorians are following the rules.
“The sense I’m getting from the data and more broadly is it I think the number of Victorians who are following the rules is going up.
“That doesn’t mean, though, that we can in any way excuse the poor choices that some people are making. One bad choice by one person in the right circumstances – or the perfectly wrong circumstances where they’re infectious, can lead to hundreds of cases, can lead to chains of transmission that we will be chasing for weeks.
It’s important to avoid a fine and it’s important to get to the other side of this – that each of us do the right thing,” he said.