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Army called in as COVID-19 dobbers send phones into meltdown

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Victorians dobbed in so many people and businesses for breaching shutdown restrictions that the army was called upon to take phone calls.

A record-breaking 173,000 reports were made to the non-urgent police assistance line during the coronavirus shutdown between March and April.

The most common complaint was house parties in breach of the COVID-19 shutdown rules.

Complaints peaked over Easter with about 11,500 per day.

Extra staff were recruited in late March to assist with the influx, along with 12 members of the Australian Defence Force who were brought on board to assist with urgent calls.

All up, police detected about 70,000 breaches. The vast majority resulted in warnings with about 5,600 fines issued during the shutdown.

The community can continue to report non-urgent crime and events, as well as breaches of Chief Health Officer directions by calling the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or submitting an online report at www.police.vic.gov.au/palolr

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