Police urge vigilance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Regional NSW

Deputy Commissioner Mick Willing, Regional NSW Field Operations.


THE NSW Police Force is urging everyone in Regional NSW to maintain vigilance and compliance with Public Health Orders to prevent COVID-19 from spreading into their communities.

Officers from Police Districts across NSW are conducting high-visibility operations to support the community in ensuring compliance with the Public Health Orders and responding to reports of breaches.

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Deputy Commissioner Mick Willing, Regional NSW Field Operations, said policing operations will be bolstered as required to protect regional and remote communities.

“The communities of Regional NSW have been doing a great job to keep the virus out of their areas, and we need to keep up that good work; now is not the time for complacency,” Deputy Commissioner Willing said.

“It’s more important than ever that we fully comply with the Public Health Orders – and report breaches, especially relating to visitors from any of the areas subject to stay-at-home orders.

“In recent days, NSW Health identified high levels of virus fragments were detected in sewerage in a number of major regional centres, including Armidale, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, and Mudgee.

“These alerts are of concern, as we know in Armidale, positive cases have since been confirmed.”

With stay-at-home orders currently in place for the Hunter Region and Armidale and Guyra areas, Deputy Commissioner Willing urged those communities to do their bit through compliance.

“The Public Health Orders have been introduced for the health and safety of everyone, and while there is a significant police presence, our officers would prefer to not issue fines,” Deputy Commissioner Willing said.

“The message is pretty simple: if you don’t need to leave the house, stay home!

“If you’re heading out for an essential reason, please remember to put on a mask, maintain physical distance and check-in to all retail and business premises you visit.

“Regional communities are renowned for rolling their sleeves up and getting a job done, and just as they did in the Central West, I have no doubt the Hunter and Armidale communities will do what they have to do to eliminate COVID-19 from their areas.”

Various restrictions also remain in place across NSW, which are critical for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“Regional NSW is the lifeblood of the state, and we all just need to keep doing the right thing so we can keep everything moving,” Deputy Commissioner Willing said.

“Further, the Delta variant poses a significant risk to our most vulnerable communities, and we cannot allow it to spread any further into the regions or our remote areas.

“It only takes one person doing the wrong thing to spread the virus – and it’s encouraging for police to continue to have the community’s support through the reporting of this type of selfish behaviour.

“I implore all regional communities to do what they do best in difficult circumstances – band together and support each other.

“The key to stopping the spread of the virus and saving lives is working together.”

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott praised the vigilance and efforts of our communities in Regional NSW.

“I thank our communities in Regional NSW for their cooperation during this time, and they should know that the police are working around the clock to support them and their loved ones”

“I urge everyone in Regional NSW to work with our police, in complying with the orders and to ensure we stop the spread of this virus in our regions.” Mr Elliott said.

For more information about COVID-19 rules and restrictions, visit https://www.nsw.gov.au

Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

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