19 July 2021

ACT Policing receives up to 40 complaints a week about COVID non-compliance

| Damien Larkins
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ACT compliance check

ACT Policing are investigating up to COVID restriction non-compliance 40 complaints a week. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

ACT Policing is investigating up to 40 complaints a week from the public about people they suspect are not complying with COVID-19 restrictions.

Over the past few weeks, Canberrans have contacted police with suspected cases of others not quarantining after visiting hotspots, failing to wear masks and not using the Check In CBR app.

Detective Acting Superintendent Callum Hughes from the ACT Policing COVID-19 Taskforce says they’ve received between 30 and 40 complaints a week over the past few weeks.

“We are seeing quite a high level of compliance from everyone in the community, which is really promising to see,” he says.

“It’s everything from ‘I think my neighbour’s come back from a hot spot’ to ‘there are visitors at this address from other interstate locations around Sydney’.”

However, he said around 99 per cent of the complaints are resolved through a simple conversation with police.

“It’s rare that we substantiate any of those [complaints], which is why we haven’t really had to take any action against them,” he says.

Police have had to make three arrests, though, including one in Campbell on Friday when a 34-year-old man became aggressive after being asked to check-in.

Anecdotal reports have been circulating about retail staff copping abuse from shoppers unwilling to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

Detective Hughes said if anyone is abused, or witnesses it, to stay safe and call them immediately.

“These are challenging times for everybody in our society, particularly people working in essential retail settings as well,” he said.

“If we receive reports of staff being abused when people refuse to comply and refuse to check-in, we will respond to that.”

The Check In CBR app.

Members of the public are reporting people not quarantining or using the Check In CBR app. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Overall, Detective Hughes said police are pleased with the ACT public’s response.

“We’ve had tens of thousands of interactions with the Canberra community with changing restrictions in an evolving situation in a growing pandemic,” he said.

“The fact we’re at this point today where we’ve only arrested three people and only given out a dozen or so infringements, I think that shows that, as a community, everybody is on board.”

If you are in an emergency situation, call triple-zero, or if you are aware of non-compliance, contact ACT Policing on 131 444 or CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.

Original Article published by Damien Larkins on The RiotACT.

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