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What Neil Mitchell thinks police are ‘getting wrong’ in the crackdown on COVID-19 breaches

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Several examples of police taking a heavy-handed approach to dealing with COVID-19 breaches at the weekend have prompted Neil Mitchell to suggest police are “getting it wrong”.

Mounted police in riot gear stormed the Queen Victoria Market during an anti-lockdown protest yesterday.

Meanwhile, footage of police dragging a woman from her car after she refused to provide identification at a road block has emerged.

Neil Mitchell says the fact police couldn’t deescalate yesterday’s protest, which they knew was planned, is concerning.

“The image of police in riot gear marching through the fruit section, I thought, was horrifying,” the 3AW Mornings host said.

“All that happened despite the riot police, despite an accused organiser spending a night in the cells last week, despite the warnings.

“There’s got to be a better way to handle it.”

Neil Mitchell says police have been granted permission to respond toughly, but he’s worried some are taking it too far.

“I think the problem, underlying, is the police have got a licence to operate pretty tough here,” he said.

“I think there are probably some in the job who take that licence a bit too generously.”

Principal lawyer of the police misconduct team at RobinsonGill Lawyers, Jeremy King, said he’s also concerned.

“I think proportionality is something that does seem to have gone out the window,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“There’s not a lot of deescalation going on.

“It makes it look a little bit like a police state.”

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