‘Sovereign citizen’ line infuriates cops
Victoria's Chief Police Commissioner Shane Patton has revealed that some Victorians think they are beyond the law and are calling themselves "sovereign citizens".
"In the last week, we've seen a trend, an emergence if you like, of groups of people … small groups, but nonetheless concerning groups, who classify themselves as sovereign citizens, whatever that might mean, people who don't think the law applies to them.
"We've seen them at checkpoints baiting police, not providing a name and address. On at least four occasions in the last week, we've had to smash the windows of cars and pull people out to provide details because they weren't adhering to the Chief Health Officer coronavirus guidelines, they weren't providing their name and address.
"We don't want to be doing that, but people have to absolutely understand there are consequences for your actions and if you're not doing the right thing, we will not hesitate to issue infringements, to arrest you, to detain you where it's appropriate."
Eve Black became the face of the sovereign citizen movement when she filmed herself refusing to give police details at a checkpoint. She was later arrested and charged but police had to break her window to get access to her.
Daniel Andrews has flagged potential tightening of mandatory mask rules after reports young people were telling frontline officers they can't wear one due to medical reasons.
Currently there is no requirement to provide proof. The Victorian Premier says if "we need to tie that up, of course we will".
"I'll just take a deep breath - is there anything worse than someone pretending to be unwell in order to get out of wearing a mask?" he said.
"Like, seriously. You need to wear the mask. You will be pulled up. If I've got to change the rules again … if I've got to go further, then of course we will. We're not going to have police being lied to. We're not going to have people just flouting these rules."
Mr Andrews said if it's not too much to ask an intensive care nurse to wear a mask, "it's not too much to ask that you wear a mask in order to avoid that nurse having to treat more patients than they otherwise would".
"That notion of lying about your health status to avoid wearing a mask and in fact putting other people's health at risk, that's shameful. Shameful," he said.
"I'll have a conversation with the Chief Commissioner about that and if a further change needs to be made, of course we will."
Victoria has reported 11 deaths and 439 new cases today, with Premier Daniel Andrews announcing tough new $5000 on-the-spot fines for "selfish" isolation breachers.
It comes after the state ordered a widespread retail shutdown on Monday that is expected to lead to a further 250,000 job losses.
Originally published as 'Sovereign citizen' line infuriates cops