News Coronavirus Massive NSW police blitz targets COVID scofflaws

Massive NSW police blitz targets COVID scofflaws

Police check the papers and identities of Bondi beachgoers on Saturday. Photo: Getty
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Police will launch a health order enforcement blitz following a decision for NSW to enter a statewide seven-day lockdown in the wake of its worst day of the COVID-19 pandemic to date.

Operation Stay At Home will begin at 12.01am on Monday, with the force to activate resources from commands across the state along with officers from transport, the dog and mounted units, and other specialist areas.

Some 1400 officers attached to the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will be also be dedicated to static and mobile compliance operations.

A further 500 Australian Defence Force troops, in addition to the 300 already deployed, will assist with compliance checks and patrols.

The massive operation will be coordinated from the Police Operations Centre (POC) in Sydney under the command of Acting Assistant Commissioner Andrew Holland.

Police Minister David Elliott says Commissioner Mick Fuller requested the ADF reinforcements along with the boost to health orders.

“We’ve had to tighten the current public health orders because of the minority who exploited them,” he said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

“Enough is enough. If you do it, you will get fined.

“The only way out of this COVID-19 crisis is if we support each other and support the NSW Police-led compliance operation, Operation Stay At Home.”

Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon said the operation would also see more police on the ground across Greater Sydney, utilising some of the strongest powers ever given to police.

“The level of non-compliance by some members of the community is unacceptable and we will be doubling down with compliance and enforcement to make sure we get ahead of the Delta strain,” he said.

“We will be issuing $5000 fines to people and closing any businesses which continue to breach the health orders and will not apologise for these increased enforcement efforts going forward.”

More roadblocks will be erected on main NSW roads and back roads from Sunday and throughout next week.