Weekend COVID wrap: Six charged, 11 PINs issued for breaches of Public Health Orders, NSW

Police have taken legal action against 17 people and one business for non-compliance with COVID-19 Public Health Orders across the weekend.

In total, six people were charged and 11 were issued $1000 Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs), while a Sydney CBD business received a $5000 PIN as part of ongoing operations in response to the pandemic.

The charges include:

Officers from South Sydney Police Area Command were alerted about 6pm on Friday (7 August 2020), after a man absconded from his room in a hotel on Jackson Drive, Mascot. Police began searching for the man and tracked him to Central Railway Station where he had caught a train north. He was tracked to Newcastle Railway Station where he was arrested and taken to Newcastle Police Station about 3am on Saturday (8 August 2020). The 31-year-old man, from Thurgoona, has been charged with not comply with noticed direction re section 7/8/9 – COVID-19 and fail to comply requirement public health order – COVID-19. He was refused bail and appeared at Newcastle Bail Court on Saturday where he was formally refused bail and is next due to appear at Central Local Court on Wednesday (12 August 2020).

About 2.30pm on Saturday (8 August 2020), officers stopped a vehicle on Wood Street, Gol Gol, and spoke with the 26-year-old female driver and two passengers – a 28-year-old woman and 35-year-old man.

In a subsequent search of the car, police seized more than $64,000 cash and 62g of a crystallised substance believed to be prohibited drugs. All three occupants were arrested and taken to Dareton Police Station, where the younger woman was charged with two counts of deal with property proceeds of crime.

The older woman was charged with deal with property proceeds of crime and not comply with noticed direction. Police will allege in court that the older woman hid in the boot of the vehicle to avoid detection by NSW Police Force and Australia Defence Force officers at the George Caffey Bridge checkpoint earlier that day. Both women were granted conditional bail to appear at Wentworth Local Court on Tuesday 6 October 2020. The man was charged with deal with property proceeds of crime. He appeared at Dubbo Bail Court on Sunday (9 August 2020), where he was formally refused bail to appear at Broken Hill Local Court today (Monday 10 August 2020).

Officers from Surry Hills Police Area Command were conducting proactive patrols, when they stopped to speak with a woman who was acting suspiciously on Mary Street just before 7pm on Saturday (8 August 2020). It’s alleged the woman was aggressive toward the officers then attempted to walk away. When the officers attempted to stop her from leaving, she allegedly resisted before being arrested. During a subsequent search of the woman’s handbag, police located and seized methylamphetamine, $500 cash, and tramadol and diazepam, which were not prescribed to her. Checks revealed the woman is a Victorian resident and had been granted a transit permit in July to travel directly to Queensland.

She was taken to Surry Hills Police Station and charged with resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty, possess prohibited drug, two counts of possess prescribed restricted substance, supply prohibited drug, and not comply with noticed direction re s 7/8/9 – COVID-19. She was refused bail and appeared at Parramatta Bail Court, where she was granted conditional bail to next appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday (13 August 2020).

Just after midnight yesterday (Sunday 9 August 2020), officers from Coffs/Clarence Highway Patrol stopped an unregistered Toyota Kluger outside a hotel on the Pacific Highway, Coffs Harbour, and spoke to the driver – a 29-year-old woman. The driver produced a Victorian driver’s licence and while speaking to her, a 32-year-old man – known to the woman – approached the vehicle. Checks revealed the couple entered NSW on Monday 27 July 2020 on a transit permit, before staying at Port Macquarie on Sunday 2 August 2020. The pair were arrested and taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station where they were both charged with not comply with noticed direction section 7/8/9 – COVID-19. They were refused bail and appeared at Port Macquarie Bail Court yesterday where they were granted conditional bail to appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court today (Monday 10 August 2020).

Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District attended a home on Cecil Street, Nimbin, on Friday (7 August 2020, and spoke to a 31-year-old woman who arrived in NSW from Victoria on Saturday 1 August 2020. The woman was advised to travel direction from Albury to her Nimbin address. Checks revealed the woman had visited a friend in Maitland, stopped at Nabiac and Gosford for mechanical repairs and picked up a patient who had been discharged from Lismore Base Hospital. Following further inquiries, the woman was served a Court Attendance Notice for not comply with noticed direction section 7/8/9 – COVID-19 yesterday (Sunday 9 August 2020). She is due to appear in Lismore Local Court on Monday 21 September 2020.

The PINs include:

While transiting in Sydney, the man was taken to a quarantine hotel at Chippendale before being directed to travel directly to Sydney Airport to board his international flight on Saturday (8 August 2020). It was established the man had attended a nearby building and spoke to a friend before travelling to the airport. Police were informed and attended Sydney Airport, where the man’s connecting flight had been cancelled and he was returned back to the hotel. He was subsequently issued a $1000 infringement for breaching the Public Health Order.

Just before 7pm on Saturday (8 August 2020), officers from Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command attended a North Bondi apartment in response to noise complaints. On arrival, police requested to speak with the resident – noting loud music and noise emanating from the residence. The 30-year-old man subsequently told police he had planned a surprise party for a friend and too many guests turned up – a total of 30. He was issued a $1000 PIN and the party concluded.

After receiving information in relation to a person travelling into NSW under false pretences, police from Operation Border Closure attended a hotel at Albury, about 7pm on Saturday, and spoke with a 32-year-old woman from Melbourne and her partner, who is a NSW resident. It was established that the woman had entered NSW on a carer’s permit but neither she nor he had children with them at the hotel. Further, the woman had been in the Greater Melbourne area in recent days and therefore made a false declaration at check-in to the hotel and was not self-isolating as per permit requirements. The woman was issued a $1000 PIN and directed to return to Victoria.

About 9.30pm on Saturday, police attached to Operation Border Closure stopped a Mercedes Benz while working a checkpoint on Wodonga Place, South Albury. After speaking with the 23-year-old male driver and the 21-year-old female passenger, it was established that neither had a permit to enter NSW, and checks revealed they had attempted to cross the border at the Hume Highway about 30 minutes earlier. Police again explained the processes required for entering NSW, including permits and quarantining. The pair were subsequently issued $1000 PINs and refused entry to NSW.

About 12.50am yesterday (Sunday 9 August 2020), police stopped a vehicle on Wodonga Place, South Albury, and spoke with the 37-year-old male driver. Checks revealed the man was in breach of his permit, which stated he must self-isolate for a period of 14 days. Further inquiries revealed the man had already been turned away by police at two border checkpoints earlier in the evening. He was issued with a $1000 PIN for failing to adhere to border permit requirements.

Just before midday yesterday, police stopped a vehicle on the Newell Highway at Tocumwal and spoke with two men in the vehicle – aged 35 and 58 – who stated they had travelled across the border to pick up a car from Shepparton. The men were in possession of permits which stipulated they were only able to travel into Cobram to obtain essential goods and services. They were both issued $1000 PINs for failing to adhere to conditions of a border exemption permit.

About 9.30pm yesterday, police attached to Operation Border Closure approached a Pantech truck at the Wodonga Place checkpoint and spoke to the driver and passenger – both men aged 63 – who advised they were delivering furniture. After officers advised the men that they had been briefed about two men in a Pantech truck attempting to cross the border without permits twice that afternoon, the men provided other reasons but neither had valid permits. Both men were advised they would each be issued with $1000 PINs before being refused entry and turned around.

About 11pm on Saturday (8 August 2020), licensing police from Sydney City Police Area Command issued the owner of a licensed premises on O’Connell Street, Sydney, with a $5000 PIN for failing to comply with a ministerial direction for alleged breaches on Sunday 2 August 2020. The venue was previously issued a warning.

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 Information is treated in strict confidence.

/Public Release. View in full here.