Richmond Police District officers patrolling a quiet Lismore CBD during COVID-19 lockdown.
Richmond Police District officers patrolling a quiet Lismore CBD during COVID-19 lockdown.

’We will take action’: Top cop warns people to stay home

NSW Police are urging people to continue staying indoors to stop the spread of coronavirus, as we hit the two-week mark on being cooped up at home.

People flouting the new social distancing laws can expect to receive $1000 on-the-spot fines and up to six months in jail.

But Richmond Police District Superintendent Toby Lindsay said the community has listened to the "simple yet vital" message to remain at home unless leaving for essential purposes.

"Northern Rivers is a really strong and resilient community, but we need everyone to do their bit to keep themselves and the rest of the community safe," Supt Lindsay said.

"We... need to stay at home unless it's essential to leave.

"The public health order and ministerial direction is 'stay at home unless they're going to work, shopping for food or essentials, attending medial needs or care of others, and exercise'.

"We ask people to abide by the 1.5m social distancing rule.

"We've all heard the important health advice over the last few weeks, everyone is aware of it.

"It won't last forever. We just need to come together and comply with these health directives to make sure the community is safe and secure."

Supt Lindsay said while police had issued warnings to some people not complying with the new social distancing laws, he was overall pleased with how well the community were taking this pandemic seriously.

 

Richmond Police District officers patrolling a quiet Lismore CBD during COVID-19 lockdown.
Richmond Police District officers patrolling a quiet Lismore CBD during COVID-19 lockdown.

 

"Police are working very hard with the community and Department of Health to ensure public security and safety," he said.

"Police are very glad no penalty notices have been issued (on the Northern Rivers).

"However, we will intervene and take action if needed

"We've already issued a number of warnings for social distance and gathering.

"But people are taking it seriously, the towns are becoming quieter."

Supt Lindsay said people just needed to take some responsibility when figuring out whether they need to leave their house.

"If you're asking questions of yourself about if going outside is the right thing to do, it probably means you should stay home," he said.

This week, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said he expected the tough new rules will be in place until June 30.


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