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Top cop explains why Victoria has issued more lockdown fines than other states

Victoria’s police chief is unapologetic about the high number of fines issued for COVID-19 shutdown breaches across the state, which he says are partially due to Victorians dobbing each other in.

Almost six thousand penalty notices have been issued for breaches, the highest number of any Australian state or territory, and more than four times as many as in New South Wales.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the high number of breaches reported by the public over Easter explains why so many fines were issued in Victoria.

“Most of those fines occurred during Easter and that was a period when people were really nervous about what was going on in the community and so the police assistance line was just flooded with thousands of calls that weekend,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“That led to most of the fines being issued.”

Mr Ashton said Victoria Police have also take a different approach to other states, which contributed to the high number of fines issued.

“If we caught people out doing burglaries, home invasions, agg burgs, that sort of offending, as well as charging them with the offences we were hitting them with a COVID-19 fine,” he said.

“As well of the criminal offending they were also putting the community’s health a risk.

“That does account for a lot of these fines.”

Press PLAY below for the Chief Commissioner’s full interview with Neil Mitchell.