REVVIN’ YOU UP: Nearly 35,000 fines issued for COVID-19 breaches by NSW Police – but they’re not all legitimate


NSW Police have dropped just 22 of more than 34,000 fines issued for COVID-19 breaches in the first eight months of the year.

Some 34,649 public health order infringement notices were issued between January 1 and August 31, 2021, according to figures produced by NSW Police to a parliamentary committee.

Of those, 34,627 are currently being prosecuted – a difference of 22.

Sam Lee, the police powers solicitor at Redfern Legal Centre, told AAP she has been “bombarded” with calls from people who’d been fined under the public health orders.

Her team believes there’s a legitimate reason to appeal the fine in about 90 per cent of their cases.

A lawyer has been “bombarded” with calls from people who’ve been wrongly issued NSW COVID-19 fines. Credit: AAP

In many cases, she said, the police officer issuing the fine appeared to get the law wrong.

The COVID-19 public health orders have changed more than 70 times, she said.

One client was fined as they went to a chemist to get medication for a serious condition.

Another was penalised for being in a shopping centre with their partner, who was unwell and could not be left at home alone.

Others were fined for entering an area of concern when they were only near the area, not in it, Lee said.

Some were engaging in lawful outdoor recreation, or drinking a cup of coffee outdoors instead of in a vehicle.

Lee’s clients include a 15-year-old who received a $3000 fine.

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