26 September 2023

Forces join frontline for virus battle

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The NSW Police Force has expanded its relationship with soldiers from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to assist it in delivering food parcels, conducting welfare door-knocks and compliance checks of public health orders as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to demand management.

Commissioner of NSW Police, Mick Fuller said he had requested 300 ADF personnel to boost the Force’s operational footprint.

Commissioner Fuller said ADF personnel would be present in a supporting role under the direction of the NSW Police Force.

“The operation will be centred around the welfare of the community and ensuring that stay-at-home orders issued by NSW Health to specific individuals are observed,” Commissioner Fuller said.

“The assistance of the ADF has been essential over the past 18 months – particularly during last year’s border operation, the ongoing hotel quarantine operation and the assistance provided with logistics support in the Police Operations Centre,” he said.

“The NSW Police Force will continue to work with the community to ensure the well-being and safety of everyone in NSW.”

Commissioner Fuller said police would conduct a compliance crackdown on the use of QR check-in and face masks in and around supermarkets and large retail premises in the Greater Sydney area.

“There is no reasonable excuse that members of the wider community are not adhering to current health orders and using the QR check-in and wearing face masks,” he said.

Commissioner Fuller said police would have a zero-tolerance approach to members of the public and businesses breaching the health orders as recent NSW Health advice showed supermarkets and large retail stores were a known source of concern when it came to spreading COVID-19.

Meanwhile, more than 250 Penalty Infringement Notices were issued on Saturday (31 July) for breaches of the public health orders following a high-visibility police operation across Sydney.

Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police and Commander of Metropolitan Field Operations, Mal Lanyon said more than 1,300 police were involved in the operation to deter a repeat of the 24 July anti-lockdown protest.

Deputy Commissioner Lanyon said the vast majority of infringement notices were issued to individuals for breaching the stay-at-home orders by travelling outside their local Government areas.

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