News State Victoria News Melbourne partygoers fined $26,000 after police follow their noses… and a massive KFC order

Melbourne partygoers fined $26,000 after police follow their noses… and a massive KFC order

kfc party covid fine
Suspicions were aroused when two people ordered meals for 20 at 1.30am on Thursday. Photo: Getty
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A group of birthday party-goers has been fined $26,000 for flouting Victoria’s COVID restrictions after being nabbed with bucketloads of fast food.

The group was snapped by police after paramedics spotted two people ordering 20 meals at a KFC in suburban Melbourne at 1.30am on Friday.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said police traced the pair to a townhouse in Dandenong.

“When we went in, there was two people asleep but there were 16 others hiding out the back – and they’d just got the KFC meals at a birthday,” he said.

“That is ridiculous that type of behaviour.”

It was also an expensive night – police slapped each of the 16 with a $1652 fine for ignoring Melbourne’s tough new coronavirus restrictions (which ban visiting another home).

“That is $26,000 that birthday party is costing them. That is a heck of a birthday party to recall,” Mr Patton said.

Mr Patton also took aim at reports huge crowds had gathered on the pier at Mornington on Thursday to watch whales, calling it “totally unacceptable”.

“[It’s] a total breach of the distancing rules [and] arguable whether it is even an exercise full stop or there is a reason to be there,” he said.

“That conduct won’t be permitted. If the public don’t comply, we will continue to ramp up our infringement issue. It ask as simple as that.”

Victoria Police handed out more than 60 fines – including to the birthday party guests – in the first 24-hours of the Melbourne-wide stage-three lockdown that began on Tuesday.

Under the rules, millions of people in metropolitan Melbourne and the neighbouring Mitchell shire are confined to home, unless for four essential tasks. The return to a six-week lockdown is designed to help curb the spread of COVID – with Victoria posting a record 288 cases on Friday.

Four sex workers have also been fined after reports to police of “a large amount of men frequenting an address” in suburban Glen Waverley.

Victoria Police has also stopped more than 5000 vehicles at checkpoints outside Melbourne. Number plate technology and random intercepts are being used to stop Melburnians leaving the city.

“I expect to see those infringements numbers rise from those parties and things like that,” Mr Patton said.

“It is finished. The time for that is done and we will continue to issue the infringements to make people comply.”

Hundreds of police have been called in from backroom roles and regional areas to step up enforcement of the Melbourne lockdown. Australian Defence Force personnel are also helping to run checkpoints.