Protests against containment waste police resources | Blue Mountain Gazette
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the anti-lockdown protests wereted valuable resources that could otherwise be diverted to help deal with the state’s escalating COVID crisis.
Police broke up nearly 100 small anti-lockdown protests across New South Wales on Tuesday, arresting more than 150 people and issuing 570 fines.
Last month, 1,500 police officers stormed into Sydney to quell protests that followed a larger violent protest in the CBD in July.
Mr Fuller told a hearing on New South Wales budget estimates on Wednesday that before the COVID-19 pandemic there had been around 1,000 protests a year, which were generally peaceful, well organized and with very few arrests.
“But obviously the protests against COVID are very different,” he said.
Because anti-containment protests were illegal “you don’t tend to have protest organizers, you just have a bunch of people … a crush if you like to introduce yourself.”
“It uses a huge amount of law enforcement resources that could well be used to help health care right now,” Mr. Fuller said.
“I just think people underestimate the risks they are taking by getting together in such large numbers.
“It just doesn’t make sense – there are so many other ways people can protest right now without having to come forward.”
Associated Australian Press