Heavy hand of the law unhelpful to the cause, by Innes Willox. In Victoria:
Another story came from a member who went to Bunnings and was stopped by the police. They had observed all social distancing rules and went to a store that was allowed to be open. They were fined $1900 because the police officer did not accept that going out to buy a garden pot for a home they hardly leave was a reasonable excuse. Would two garden pots be reasonable? A watering system perhaps OK? Where is the judgment here?
There are numerous other cases which show the enforcers clearly don’t know or understand what they are policing. This is not their fault — the rules are too broad in scope. However, as these incidents demonstrate, the idea of giving police powers that are unclear and widely open to interpretation is chilling. …
We have seen police standing on state borders unilaterally turning around workers and trucks until industry was able to explain to state governments that people and freight movement are essential to keeping our national and their state economies moving. Again we were using police to determine what was economically essential with no guidelines and with disastrous short-term consequences.
If police were wise enough to know what is essential to running the economy and society and what is not, they wouldn’t be police, would they?
hat-tip Stephen Neil