24th July 2021. About 3,500 protesters in Sydney CBD were not wearing protective face masks.
With many cases of COVID-19 in Sydney, it is highly likely that some of these protesters could be COVID positive.
These face masks are an aid to stop people spreading any virus that they may have.
With very few of them wearing masks, and no social distancing being adhered to, it is likely to cause even more cases.
This could result in another extension to the Sydney lockdown. Exactly the opposite of what the protesters want.
All participants in the protest, and anyone they have subsequently contacted, should immediately get tested for COVID-19.
The NSW police have started an action to identify and charge those who broke the health rules and put other people’s lives at risk.
57 people have already been arrested, and another 90 people have been issued with Penalty Infringement Notices.
NSW Media Release.
Police have established Strike Force Seasoned following a police operation in response to unauthorised protest activity in Sydney’s CDB today.
A high-visibility policing operation was launched about 12pm (Saturday 24 July 2021) to ensure the safety of all protest participants, as well as the wider community and local businesses.
General duties officers from across the Central Metropolitan Region were assisted by specialist police from the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS), ODIN, Police Transport Command, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command and the Mounted and Dog Unit.
During the operation, 57 people were arrested and are currently in the process of being charged.
At least 90 Penalty Infringement Notices were also issued for breaches of the public health orders.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said he shared the community’s outrage at the actions of those present at this afternoon’s protest.
“These individuals are on notice, as they have also risked the safety of our frontline officers,” Minister Elliot said.
“They should know that a police strike force has been established and will forensically investigate all CCTV and social media footage collected over the course of the afternoon’s protest.
“Police will not hesitate to bring more charges.
“It will only take one person with COVID-19 to turn to today’s event into a super-spreader, so decent-minded Australians have every right to feel infuriated at such selfish behaviour.”
Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon, Metropolitan Field Operations, said the work of Strike Force Seasoned, which will comprise of at least 22 detectives, starts now.
“Our officers have already started to identify attendees and will continue for as long as required to identify and prosecute all those who broke the law today.
“I want to thank the more than 350 police who were part of today’s response. They did not go to work to be assaulted or have projectiles thrown at them – the actions of the individuals involved in those offences was a disgrace.
“I also want to thank the majority of the community who continue to work with police and abide by the public health orders.
“They are in place for a reason and police will continue to enforce them – our officers will not tolerate those who think the law does not apply to them.”
Anyone with information or vision of today’s protest activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers through the online portal or by contacting 1800 333 000. Every single report will be investigated.
Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any public health order or behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community by contacting Crime Stoppers: nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.
The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.