Shepparton police issue 10 fines overnight to people not following gathering restrictions

By Liz Mellino

Shepparton police issued 10 infringement notices overnight on Wednesday to people not complying with social distancing restrictions put in place due to COVID-19.

These people, aged between 17 and 32, are alleged to have failed to comply with the directions issued by the chief health officer, which prevent people from gathering with more than one other person outside the people in their household.

With a total of eight cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Greater Shepparton, Local Area Commander Acting Inspector Ash Mason said the results were disappointing.

“We would prefer that everyone comply with the directions issued and we would prefer we weren’t in the situation where we had to issue these enforcements — we need people to understand the risk and the reasoning behind the issuing of the directions,” he said.

“What we are doing is enforcing those directions for the safety of every individual in our community.”

The 10 locals were each issued with on-the-spot fines of $1652.

Victoria Police can also issue notices of $9913 to businesses failing to adhere to directives.

A total of 23 fines have been issued across the state, with Victoria Police conducting a total of 10,292 spot checks at homes, businesses and non-essential services since March 21.

The disappointing results from Wednesday night come after Shepparton police were left frustrated over the weekend by people continuing to disregard the guidelines.

Due to the highly transmissible nature of the virus, Act Insp Mason urged the community to follow the restrictions and help minimise the spread throughout our community.

“We need every single member of our community understanding the risk that the COVID-19 pandemic presents and the reasons behind the directions that have been issued by the chief health officer,” he said.

“It is about the safety of each and every one of us.”