‘We don’t want to be doing this work’: Victoria Police Chief Commissioner
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton has defended the force’s approach to enforcing the state’s coronavirus restrictions.
Victorians can be fined up to $1,652 for most breaches of the Chief Health Officer’s directions, and almost $5,000 for unlawful gatherings or failing to self-isolate when required.
On his regular spot on Virginia Trioli’s ABC Radio Melbourne program this morning, Ms Trioli put it to the Chief Commissioner that Victoria’s “fierce” law and order response could be counterproductive.
“I wouldn’t call it a fierce law and order response,” Chief Commissioner Patton said.
“We are being very fair in what we’re doing.
“We don’t want to be doing this work – no-one wants to be doing this work, to be issuing infringements for activities that a year ago people were allowed to be doing.
“It seems amazing where we’re at at the moment, but it is necessary, because there has to be a carrot and stick approach.
“By and large the majority of the community have been outstanding and continue to be outstanding… but for those who [commit] deliberate, obvious, blatant breaches, who put others at risk, then we do need to issue the infringements and there has to be a consequence, because for all those who are doing the right thing, if there’s no consequence or outcome to those who aren’t, well then there’s no incentive for anyone to do the right thing at all.”
Chief Commissioner Patton said police had issued “thousands and thousands” of warnings and would continue to do so.
“If we can deal with it through commonsense, through reasoning, through warnings, then we do so,” he said.