Victoria Police have seemingly backflipped following yesterday’s reports that fines handed out for breaching COVID-19 restrictions will not be enforced.
In what is now being called a “poorly-worded” memo, police officers were reportedly told not to go ahead with enforcing the thousands of fines handed out for breaking COVID rules.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent has since clarified the directive, saying on Monday that police would indeed pursue those who breached restrictions.
“A guide was prepared for prosecutors and police with respect to prosecuting fines. In hindsight, that document was poorly worded and doesn’t appropriately articulate the process for fines and warnings in relation to the Chief Health Officer directions,” Mr Nugent told reporters on Monday.
The guidelines had been circulated to Victorian police officers in December last year, and appeared to encourage prosecutors and officers to walk a lenient route
Over 19,000 penalties were handed out in Victoria over 2020, however, only 845 of those fines had actually been paid by October last year.
Mr Nugent went on to confirm that the approach to enforcing breaches of COVID restrictions had not changed.