PO­LICE­MAN’S BOR­DER BREACH

Of­fi­cer breaches bor­der

Sunday Territorian - - FRONT PAGE - GARY SHIPWAY AND RAPHAELLA SAROUKOS

A 27-year-old North­ern Ter­ri­tory po­lice of­fi­cer has re­signed and been fined $5000 after breach­ing Ter­ri­tory bor­der check­point re­quire­ments with four other peo­ple.

A PO­LICE of­fi­cer has re­signed after breach­ing the North­ern Ter­ri­tory’s bor­der check­point re­quire­ments.

NT Po­lice Deputy Com­mis­sioner Mur­ray Smal­page said the 27-year-old was one of five peo­ple who had breached North­ern Ter­ri­tory/Queens­land bor­der con­trols.

Along with his wife, he has been is­sued with a breach no­tice and a $5000 fine.

Three of five trav­ellers — but not the po­lice of­fi­cer — were con­firmed to have come from in­ter­state hot spots.

The po­lice of­fi­cer’s res­ig­na­tion fol­lows ear­lier re­ports from the Red Cen­tre that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der way after three men aged 26, 27 and 29, and a woman, 28, trav­elled into the NT on Mon­day in a pri­vate car through a bor­der con­trol point on the Queens­land and Ter­ri­tory bor­der.

Mr Smal­page de­scribed the breach as “ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing”.

“A po­lice of­fi­cer has failed to ad­here to his sworn duty as a po­lice of­fi­cer,” he said.

“It is a sin­gle fail­ing, but it is ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing.

“They trav­elled from a de­clared hot spot, and he was one of five that came in and trav­elled to Alice. The of­fi­cer must have re­flected on his ac­tions and re­signed, which was ac­cepted. There is an on­go­ing crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion and we will see what, if any, charges will flow as a re­sult.”

NT Chief Health Of­fi­cer Hugh Heg­gie said he was alarmed by the of­fi­cer’s be­hav­iour, and again warned of the speed with which coro­n­avirus was be­ing spread from in­ter­state hot spots.

The po­lice­man’s res­ig­na­tion comes after a woman tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19, bring­ing the Ter­ri­tory’s to­tal ac­tive cases to three.

She is the part­ner of a man who tested pos­i­tive for the virus on Fri­day. The woman and her fam­ily ar­rived in Dar­win from Mel­bourne on Fri­day, after trav­el­ling to Vic­to­ria for essen­tial med­i­cal treat­ment for their child.

They re­ceived clear­ance from the NT Depart­ment of Health to travel to Vic­to­ria, and were cleared by au­thor­i­ties to re­turn to the Ter­ri­tory, on the con­di­tion they went into manda­tory quar­an­tine.

The man was asymp­to­matic but was tested for coro­n­avirus in Mel­bourne. He was alerted mid-flight he had con­tracted the virus, and was taken to Royal Dar­win Hos­pi­tal. His part­ner was also in iso­la­tion at RDH when she was con­firmed pos­i­tive for coro­n­avirus.

Se­cureNT said con­tact trac­ing was com­plete.

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