Victoria’s chief police commissioner has torn into anti-maskers who think they’re above the law, slamming the foolish behaviour as “unacceptable, selfish and an arrogant approach”.
It comes after police revealed a 26-year-old constable allegedly had her head smashed into the ground several times by a Melbourne woman who refused to wear a face mask.
Commissioner Shane Patton said the young officer remained in reasonable spirits despite suffering from concussion, headaches and bruising in the “disgusting attack” in Frankston on Monday night.
“But nonetheless (she is) set back by a completely unprovoked attack by someone who claimed they didn’t have to wear a mask of all things in this current environment. Just a ridiculous approach by that person,” he told the Today show on Wednesday morning.
“To say in this environment that I’m an anti-masker, I don’t believe in the laws, I don’t have to abide by them, I don’t have to wear a mask, it’s totally unacceptable. It’s selfish. It’s just about them. It’s actually an arrogant approach. We won’t stand for it.”
The alleged attacker was fined $ 200 for breaching COVID restrictions and is out on bail due to having no criminal history. She will face more assault charges in March next year.
Mr Patton warned the woman faced very serious charges that could result in jail time but revealed similar assaults “frequently” occurred among emergency workers during challenging times.
“It’s a concern for us when any member is assaulted, but this isn’t just a one-off. This happens relatively frequently in these challenging times,” he said.
It comes as Victorians who breach self-isolation rules could now be hit with fines of up to $ 5000 under tough new measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced the new police powers on Tuesday morning as he revealed more than 800 positive cases were not found at home.
He said Australian Defence Force personnel and Department of Health and Human Services teams had doorknocked more than 3000 houses, with more than one in four of those infected not home.
The Premier said the $ 4957 infringement was the largest on-the-spot fine in the state, and if people repeatedly breached the rules, police would not hesitate to take them to court where the maximum penalty was up to $ 20,000.