VICTORIA Police continue to ensure Victorians are following the most recent directions of the Chief Health Officer, with 546 fines issued since Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions were reintroduced throughout metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire last week.

Police have conducted more than 100,000 checks in total since enforcement began in March.

Operation Sentinel has been underway since March and has seen an even greater police presence in and around the 32 Local Government Areas with Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions reimposed last week. The operation involves state-wide resources including the Public Order Response Team, Mounted Branch, Highway Patrol and local police.

Booze buses have been deployed to road stops and checkpoints to monitor traffic flow, and police are using Automatic Number Plate Recognition to scan registration details and identify the residential addresses of license holders. Victoria Police are also conducting checks across the state, including the main arterials to regional Victoria.

As part of Operation Sentinel, police continue to make house visits to coronavirus cases and close contacts who have been directed to self-isolate, as well as patrol public places all over Victoria, helping to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Victoria Police have undertaken almost 5000 spot checks in the past 24 hours at homes, businesses and non-essential services across the state and issued 63 fines as part of Operation Sentinel. Anyone who breaches the CHO direction faces on-the-spot fines of $1652 for individuals and $9913 for businesses.

“While most Victorians are doing the right thing and following the directions of the Chief Health Officer, there have been some disappointing examples of people blatantly disregarding the restrictions,” the government said.

Police are conducting checks at businesses, homes, community locations and non-essential services across the state to ensure directions are being followed. Operation Ribbon and Operation Shielding remain in place.

For Victorians living in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, there are only four reasons to leave the home: shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and work or study – if it can’t be done from home.

The community can continue to report non-urgent crime and events, as well as breaches of the Chief Health Officer’s directives, by calling the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or submitting an online report at police.vic.gov.au/palolr.