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Nearly 100 partygoers fined for breaching restrictions

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Nearly 100 partygoers were fined for attending illegal parties in Victoria at the weekend.

Nearly 100 partygoers were fined for attending illegal parties in Victoria at the weekend, with police warning the new $5000 penalty for gathering breaches could leave rulebreakers collectively out of pocket tens of thousands of dollars.

A new $4957 fine for illegal public and private gathering breaches was announced yesterday as police raided at least 10 separate parties at short-term rentals across Hoppers Crossing, Casey, Surf Coast and Melbourne CBD.

Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said police issued a total of 93 infringements after breaking up parties on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.

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About 40 people were busted by officers at a party in Hoppers Crossing in a blatant breach of restrictions.

"Several of them did a runner, some just dispersed," Commissioner Patton said.

"We ended up giving out 15 infringements. That would be a $75,000 party. That is a heck of a party."

Most of the parties had about a dozen attendees, with one host in the Surf Coast even hiring a jumping castle for their illegal event.

Commissioner Patton said rulebreakers would jump fences, hide or even flee once caught by police. Their excuses are they "just wanted to get together".

"The selfishness… it's unfathomable," he said.

"This weekend was an especially bad one where we've seen a whole host of parties pop up.

"We are talking about people dying because of decisions people are making, because they want to have a birthday party."

The state's top cop urged people to dob in their neighbours and those who they believed were breaching the chief health officer's directions.

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"You can call it dobbing in neighbours - I would call it doing the right thing … looking after the community. It's calling out selfish, arrogant and ignorant behaviour," he said.

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Victorians have been warned police will be out in full force, inspecting streets with an influx of vehicles, as well as monitoring public spaces such as parks, gardens and beaches.

"I would urge any member of the public who comes across or suspects or believes there is a private gathering or in public to ring the police assistance line," he said. "We will be knocking on those doors, we will be doing everything we can to ensure people are adhering to these guidelines.

"The use of discretion will only be in the most extreme circumstance and very rarely applied."

Police issued 175 fines in the past 24 hours for COVID-19 breaches, including 55 for curfew breaches, 13 at vehicle checkpoints and 23 for failing to wear a face mask.

Among the infringements were four men who were found in a car at a vehicle checkpoint.

They told officers they were travelling from Melbourne to Geelong to "purchase sportswear".

Six people were also fined after drinking in a CBD apartment.

Source: 9News

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