Coronavirus crisis: Shoalhaven tops NSW as regional COVID-19 social distancing rule-breakers

NSW Police officers encourage social distancing at Parramatta Police Station during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: NSW POLICE
NSW Police officers encourage social distancing at Parramatta Police Station during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: NSW POLICE

NSW Police have issued more fines within the Shoalhaven local government area than anywhere else in regional NSW.

Data released by NSW Police on Thursday showed the Shoalhaven had been issued with eight infringement fines between March 17 and April 9.

Wagga's LGA and lake Macquarie recorded the equal second-highest number for an area outside Sydney.

Narrabri LGA recorded two infringements, according to data on statewide fines issued so far, which combined had penalties totalling $165,000.

Riverina Police District Superintendent Bob Noble has said police would be enforcing new restrictions around coronavirus and social isolation over the Easter long weekend.

"Clearly at this time, we are discouraging people from non-essential travel. In fact, it's against the law to travel for a non-essential purpose," he said.

"If you're out and about on the roads, expect to see a very, very high visibility of police. They will be enforcing traffic legislation, they will be enforcing the COVID-19 ministerial directions.

"If you transgress on any of those boundaries, expect to be proceeded against.

Wagga's alleged breaches of social distancing included an incident on April 3 when police were called to a home at 6.40am following reports of a disturbance.

Officers spoke with five men at the premises who were not residents of the home and could not provide a legitimate reason for being there.

The men - aged 21, 28, 31, and two aged 33 - were each searched, before being issued with an infringement notice and sent home.

A NSW police statement said officers also found and seized methamphetamine and cannabis at the home.

This story Shoalhaven tops NSW as regional coronavirus rule-breakers first appeared on The Canberra Times.