Victoria’s ‘ring of steel’ blocking traffic in and out of Melbourne during lockdown was ineffective and should NOT be repeated
Police association secretary Wayne Gatt said the state government’s use of road blocks to restrict travel between the city and regional Victoria last year was flawed and plagued by loopholes.
The union’s warning comes as authorities consider how to navigate the unfolding health crisis as Victoria’s Covid-19 outbreak swelled to 51 on Monday after 11 new cases were recorded.
Victoria’s police association says the state government’s ‘ring of steel’, a series of roadblocks set up around Melbourne last year (pictured) were ineffective and should not be repeated
‘Last year’s model was not effective, nor was it efficient,’ Mr Gatt told The Age.
‘Our advice in debriefing that operation to both Victoria Police and the state government has been clear: if in the future government policy required some form of separation to be policed, there are much better ways of doing it that are far less labour intensive and far more effective.’
Mr Watt has suggested mobile police checks be used as an alternative approach, with officers monitoring both freeways and smaller roads.
He said the threat of being caught would deter residents from breaching restrictions, and the method would be more resource efficient.
Last year, freeways around Melbourne’s perimeters were guarded by hundreds of police officers to ensure drivers had an essential reason to travel.
The checkpoints were in place for around four months while the city was under tighter restrictions than the rest of Victoria.
Police officers direct traffic at a roadblock site in Broadmeadows, Melbourne, in July last year
More to come.