Victoria Police are happy with how the 'soft', high-tech border closure approach is evolving and, at this stage, don't see the need for a hard border.
Speaking on Neil Mitchell on 3AW this morning, Acting Deputy Commissioner Mick Grainger said a hard border closure 'was always an option' the government could take, but at this stage a full roadblock closure would not occur.
"At the moment we're finding the highly mobile model is proving really effective, we're detecting a number of people, warning a number of people [and] helping people coming into Victoria ignorant of the requirement to have a permit," he said.
"We feel this mobile method is very, very user-friendly and it's not impacting on those border communities that have expressed concerns in the past.
"We're actually getting lots of positive commentary from those border communities about our current operating model."
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It echoes earlier comments made by Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley who did not rule out a hard border, but said the government was very happy with the current 'soft' approach.
"VicPol's operational advice is based on learnings from 2020 and learnings brought across earlier this year that a highly-mobile, unpredictable, technology-driven arrangements.... have been more effective," he said.
Mr Grainger said 27 warnings had been issued in the past 24 hours along the border, and two fines of $5542.
"What we're applying is a highly-visible, anytime, anywhere, policing mobile patrol model across six zones... from Mildura all the way down to Gippsland," the Acting Deputy Commissioner said.
"I'm not surprised occasionally people will pass through one of those zones and not see a police vehicle because we're moving around, supported absolutely by our drug and alcohol testing buses in three specific locations, our number plate recognition cars and of course our police airwing is highly involved as well."
Mr Grainger said about 350 officers were involved in the current border operation and they would be targeting major border crossings.
"We have six zones primary zones where we think people will travel back into Victoria from NSW," he said,
"Our mission absolutely is to keep Victoria safe so on those major arterials people will see police, not necessarily right on the border point, but a mixture of right on the border point and south of the borders moving along major highways etc, intercepting vehicles for checks and permit compliance."
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