Police target Melbourne's COVID hot spots

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton warned residents to abide by lockdown restrictions.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton warned residents to abide by lockdown restrictions.

Little leniency will be shown to people found flouting lockdown rules in Melbourne's hot spot areas as 1000 police set out specifically to enforce them.

"You'd have to have been on Mars not to understand that the Chief Health Officer restrictions apply in these 36 suburbs, and that you're expected to adhere to them," Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said on Thursday.

More than 300,000 people entered a second lockdown in Melbourne's inner north and west from Thursday after a spike in coronavirus cases.

Police will target certain roads and backstreets in the areas, and public places with large volumes of foot traffic.

Booze buses and roadblocks will be set up and officers will pull people over to conduct questioning as to why they are out and about, Mr Patton said.

They will also use automatic number plate recognition technology, which will help determine if a driver and their car are where they should be.

The measures were announced on Thursday as part of the new Operation Sanus.

Much like earlier stage three restrictions, the only reasons people in hot spot suburbs are able to leave their homes is to shop for food and supplies, to receive or provide care, to exercise, and to study or work if they can't do so from home.

Mr Patton warned that people would be intercepted and questioned by police, and fines would be issued.

"I want to be absolutely crystal clear. For those who are selfish enough to disregard these warnings, the deliberate, obvious and blatant breaches ... we will be (fining) them," he told reporters.

"The window of police discretion is very small I can assure you, and it's rapidly closing."

Mr Patton said while there would be a focus on Melbourne's hot spots, police would continue enforcing COVID-19 rules across the state.

"It's not just those 36 suburbs ... we're right across the state because you can't afford to take your eye off the ball in any area," he said.

Australian Associated Press