Recently, I took part in the NSW Police Association's #ThumbsUp4SafeCommunities campaign. Along with parliamentary colleagues and community members, I gave the positive affirmation of a big thumbs up to NSW Police and other emergency service workers doing a great job during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike any other time in history, NSW Police have had to deal with the unknown threat of the Coronavirus along with the rest of society while at the same time attending to their normal duties. The National Cabinet's message to the country was to, "Stay at home" and "Stay safe." While most of us heeded these important messages, Police continued doing their job, always giving their best to protect the community.
Following conversations with local Police, I know for a fact that Officers would rather have been channelling their energy into preventing crime, engaging with the wider public and catching criminals to ensure they are brought to justice. But COVID-19 meant that the rule book for Police, much like the rule books for other frontline personnel, was thrown out the window changing the way everyone operated during this time. Full credit to our local Police for their work during the crisis. They were out in force ensuring that social distancing measures were adhered to as per government instructions in a valiant attempt to minimise the spread of infection.
Throughout the lockdown videos of Police asking people to move on in various situations emerged. There was much commentary on whether Police actions were warranted given that some people were just minding their own business and not causing trouble. However, we must remember social distancing rules were implemented for our own safety and Police were enforcing these rules for our own good.
The most sickening acts any person can commit against another are intentionally spitting, coughing and sneezing at them. Unfortunately, Police on duty were the target of these sickening acts during this crisis. These intentional acts are repulsive and disgusting. Police face many risks while doing their job. The full force of the law must be applied to individuals that committed these acts whether they were directed at a Police Officer or any other member of the community.
Our Police continue to face tough times ahead as we continue to navigate this uncertain climate brought on by COVID-19. I urge you to join the campaign and support #ThumbsUp4SafeCommunities.