ACT police have ramped up their compliance and enforcement after the Victorian border lockdown
Police have conducted more than 60 spot checks across 27 locations to check people are in quarantine in line with the COVID-19 health measures imposed by the ACT government.
"For people in quarantine or self-isolation, if you haven't already seen a police officer at your front door, you are likely to see one soon," ACT Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan said.
Deputy Commissioner Gaughan said that while overall responsibility for the protection program still rested with ACT Health, police had provided the compliance and enforcement support. He expected this to "ramp up significantly" in the days ahead due to the Victorian border lockdown, and ACT residents returning home from there to enter the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Police have stood up a third Territory Targeting Team dedicated to quarantine spot-checking.
The two existing teams have been doing spot checks in addition to policing Canberra's now-depleted night life district, and enforcing social distancing requirements in clubs, bars and restaurants.
"The situation is changing daily and it is critical that people follow health directions to prevent an outbreak like we're seeing in Victoria," Deputy Commissioner Gaughan said.
"There are no excuses now. We've been living with COVID-19 for several months and we are all aware of our personal responsibilities.
"While police officers have discretion when enforcing laws, ACT Policing will take a no tolerance approach to people who are not following quarantine or self-isolation directions.
"Those who fail to comply with these rules should know they're not just risking enforcement action, they're risking someone's life."
Police are also urging the public's support in reporting non-compliance. Reporting can be made through the ACT government's hotline of 6207 7244. About 40 calls to the hotline have been received in the past two days.
He said that another important police function would be to check on the welfare of people in quarantine "because we realise what a stressful thing this is to do".
He said that situations such as this, with about 260 Canberrans currently in quarantine and the number rising by the hour, "the community is only as strong as its weakest link".
He said that by close of business on Friday, ACT Policing would have direct access to the Services NSW database, which holds a record of every person who had entered NSW from Victoria since the lockdown began, including their vehicle registration numbers and addresses.
Those who had crossed the border heading into the ACT and who had not registered with ACT Health were urged to do so.
Those that haven't registered, he said, "are probably going to be the first ones visited by ACT Policing".