Murray River Police enforce powers to stop spread of coronavirus

By Ivy Jensen

POLICE are assuring Moama and Mathoura district residents they are using all powers available to enforce all COVID-19 related public health orders to help stop the spread of the virus.

‘‘This health crisis is nothing like anything we’ve ever experienced and I can understand members of our communities are anxious,’’ Murray River Police District Commander Superintendent Paul Smith said.

‘‘I am encouraged to see most members of the community are taking this situation seriously and heeding the social distancing advice of the government.’’

Police now have extra powers to issue fines for not complying with a ministerial direction or a public health order. The on-the-spot fines are $1000 for individuals and $5000 for businesses.

‘‘I want to assure the community we will be using this power if required,’’ Supt Smith said.

‘‘This means if someone is ordered to self-isolate and they do not comply, or if people do not adhere to social distancing rules, police will respond and issue them with a fine.’’

Murray River Police District officers are also conducting proactive patrols across the communities.

‘‘These patrols also form part of our ongoing work with retailers, to ensure calm and fairness at the checkouts,’’ Supt Smith said.

‘‘You as a community can assist in keeping our officers on the road by using existing reporting options for non-emergency calls for assistance.’’

He also advised Echuca-Moama residents the NSW-Victorian border was not closed at this time.

‘‘As we are all aware, the border means little for us in our border communities who operate as one. What I must stress is for the entire community to re-consider any non-essential travel in and between our communities,’’ he said.

‘‘We will continue to work with our Victoria Police colleagues on this and the COVID-19 response.’’

To report non-compliance, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.