Where the most COVID-19 fines were doled out

Living in a local government area of concern at the height of lockdown didn’t just mean a ban from the beach and a higher chance of catching COVID-19 – residents of those 12 council areas were also more likely to be fined for breaching the public health order.

New data released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research shows that 37.2 per cent of enforcement of Operation Stay at Home across July and August took place in the local government areas the government had deemed “of concern” – largely in Sydney’s west and south-west.

NSW Police enforcing the public health order in August

NSW Police enforcing the public health order in August Credit:Renee Nowytarger

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research director Dr Jackie Fitzgerald stressed that the COVID-19 breaches were relative to the rates of infection in the LGAs of concern.

These suburbs had 78 per cent of the COVID-19 cases and 37 per cent of the breaches.

Other local government areas across Sydney saw 23.2 per cent of breaches, while LGAs outside Sydney saw 29.1 per cent of breach notices issued and the City of Sydney LGA was the site of 10.2 per cent of breaches.

NSW Mounted Police patrol the streets of Fairfield during the lockdown.

NSW Mounted Police patrol the streets of Fairfield during the lockdown. Credit:Kate Geraghty

These figures do not include the fines resulting from the anti-lockdown protests, which totalled 9.3 per cent of all COVID-19 breaches.

NSW Police issued an “extraordinary” 36,597 COVID-19 public health order breaches in July and August 2021.

“It went from a really low number, prior to July, we were looking at a few hundred [fines] a month. Then it just accelerated incredibly, which was perfectly understandable given the health crisis and the volume of restrictions,” Dr Fitzgerald said.


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