Sydneysiders have been warned police will be cracking down even harder on those who choose to break COVID-19 rules as the state grapples with a record high number of infections.
Key points:

  • Thousands of extra police will be out enforcing compliance of public health orders
  • The focus will be on eight local government areas of concern in Sydney
  • NSW Police have now also asked for help from the Australian Defence Force

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller today said police were clamping down to “get us out of lockdown sooner” and made a formal request to the Federal Government for assistance from the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Earlier today, before making the ADF request, Commissioner Fuller said he wouldn’t hesitate to call on defence if it was needed.
He said NSW Police was not too “stretched” but if more Local Government Areas (LGAs) of concern popped up, it would ask for help.
“Clearly if there was an LGA expansion, I would absolutely have the confidence in expanding the Australian Defence Force in NSW,” he said.
Catch up on the main COVID-19 news from July 29 with a look back at our blog
Commissioner Fuller says new police powers are aimed at getting Sydney out of lockdown sooner.(AAP: Mick Tsikas
Just hours later, Commissioner Fuller asked for 300 ADF personnel to boost the operational capacity of NSW Police.
The ABC understands the ADF has welcomed the request, which was around compliance and logistics support.
The ADF will now undertake planning work with NSW Police to understand the practical requirements of their request.
It comes as NSW hit a new daily infection record, with 239 new local COVID-19 cases.
The deteriorating situation in Sydney has prompted even tighter restrictions.
Residents in the eight LGAs of concern (Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Parramatta, Blacktown, Georges River and Campbelltown) are now not allowed to travel more than 5km from home and must wear masks whenever outside.
The fine for not wearing a mask has also been increased from $200 to $500 and Commissioner Fuller warned there would be fewer warnings issued and more enforcement.
NSW Police have also been granted new powers to immediately close any premises breaching the public health orders.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she granted this power because there were still too many businesses ignoring the rules around health measures like mask wearing.
“Commissioner Fuller knows if he needs anything further, he can ask the government and he will receive it,” Ms Berejiklian said.
The fine for not wearing a mask has increeased from $200 to $500.(AAP/Joel Carrett
The Commissioner today hinted police would be keeping a close eye on the parts of the construction industry permitted to start work again on Saturday July 31.
“We all want to come out of lockdown. These new powers, the additional police into these areas, is about getting us out of lockdown sooner,” he said.
“You can expect to see more police on the ground, you can expect to see more enforcement.”
Last week it was revealed the Premier had declined an offer of assistance from the ADF earlier this month because transmission was occurring mostly between households and not in public places.
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