Dozens of police cars filmed in Bass Hill as West Sydney slams excessive lockdown

The New South Wales government continued to come under criticism after announcing a prolonged police operation in West Sydney following the state’s latest Covid-19 outbreak.

More than 100 police, including several mounted units, were deployed to the southwest of the city on Friday after residents feared the lockdown restrictions were being followed. The local government areas of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool have seen high rates of Covid-19 transmission in recent days, with Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian warning of the consequences if the number of cases continues to rise.

At a press conference Thursday, Ms Berejiklian attributed a spike in cases to non-compliance in the community and illegal family interactions.

The decision to bring in additional law enforcement drew immediate criticism from community figures, saying the increased police presence was a “double standard” as citizens of the eastern suburbs of the city roamed the beaches in droves.

A video posted to a popular TikTok account Zone movement showed a clip of the recent crackdown in western Sydney, filming several police cars parked on a single street in Bass Hill. 21 police vehicles can be seen in the short clip, which has been viewed over 120,000 times in less than 24 hours, drawing hundreds of comments.

The “high visibility compliance operation” at the three LGAs included the NSW Police Dog Unit, Highway Patrol and helicopter support.

While some pointed out that there was indeed a police station nearby, most commentators strongly criticized the increased police presence in the area.

Green Senator Mehreen Faruqi was one of many politicians to shoot at social media, saying public health, community engagement and immunization were needed rather than targeting “already marginalized communities”.

“It’s a terrible turn of events. Excessive surveillance of multicultural communities is a recipe for disaster, ”she said. “Mounted Police have never been called to Avalon or Westfield Bondi.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian held a closed-door meeting with multicultural leaders in southwest Sydney on Thursday to discuss criticism of the controversial police operation.

Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone has spoken out particularly against the order, accusing the state government of turning the latest coronavirus outbreak into a political game.

Mr Carbone said the recent outbreak was “not a problem in western Sydney”, attributing several failures in the hotel quarantine system to the recent spike. The outspoken mayor also called on the federal government to provide financial assistance to those immediately affected by the new laws requiring people to withdraw from work.

“I’m not going to get out of this. This is something that comes from the hotel lockdown and the hotel quarantine, ”Mr. Carbone told Channel 9’s Today Show.

“The Prime Minister needs to make sure they are providing both financial and service support to people here in West Sydney.

“I just think we have to find a way to stop the virus coming from the hotel quarantine, it’s a controlled area, that’s where everyone is frustrated. Fairfield is a prime example, an area that has never had the virus, but the virus is spreading. “

Mr Carbone urged the Sydneysiders to get tested, revealing 2,000 tests had been carried out in Fairfield overnight.

“I know the residents are listening, we had almost 2,000 tests last night. The streets were empty last night, ”he said. “I urge residents to wear masks especially indoors and to continue to get tested if you have symptoms.”

Lakemba MP Jihad Dib also criticized the NSW government crackdown, saying the shift to an increased police presence in West Sydney was not helpful and called on authorities to step up. focus on communication and not on fines.

“While it’s important to have compliance… what we need to do is make sure we don’t create it in a way that instills panic or fear,” he said. “If it’s about putting a whole bunch of cops out there because we don’t trust the community, then I’m worried about that.”

Ms Berejiklian has since defended her comments regarding the recent cases from Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool, insisting she did not want to offend or add stress to the developing crisis.

“We’re here to make sure people know what the risk is… It’s really important for me to tell it the way it is,” she told media Thursday.

“Please note that when I say it as such, I don’t mean to offend, I just need to spread the information. “

NSW recorded 50 new cases of Covid in the 24-hour period to 8 p.m. last night, bringing the state’s active tally to 450.

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