How far should the government be allowed in telling the citizens what to wear, where they can and cannot go etc. etc.? Are certain rules (laws) needed for the safety of all citizens? What laws are really needed to keep the citizen free from the China virus? In Western Australia ‘A 41-year-old Ellenbrook man has been arrested and charged for refusing to wear a mask on the first day of Western Australia’s five-day lockdown.
Police allege the man was not wearing a mask outside a shopping centre on Great Eastern Highway in Midland and refused to when directed by officers.
Officers offered the man a mask but he refused and was subsequently arrested. It will be further alleged the man refused to provide police with his full name and identifying information.
The arrest came as Police Commissioner Chris Dawson on Monday said the community had so far been compliant, and laid bare his “knucklehead rule”.
“Masks must be worn at all times in the community and public,” he said.
“The rule is, if you’re outside your own home, the only time that you can’t, or are permitted to be about in the community is if you are the sole occupant driving a vehicle or if you are exercising and swimming at the time.”
Mr Dawson said police understood not everyone in the community had a mask yet, but there was a large supply available.
“There will be some challenges, we appreciate that, but one of the hallmarks of the way in which West Australians have responded over the past year is that police have not had to use a ‘big stick’ approach,” he said.
“I call it policing by consent. If the community is not wearing a mask, police will talk to you and approach you but if you are wilfully disobedient and belligerent about that – I call it the knucklehead rule.
“If you’re not going to wear a mask and one is available, you will get fined. This is not an excuse for you to say, ‘I don’t want to wear a mask’.”
A WA Police spokesman said the initial interaction with the man was to ensure he was aware of the legal requirement to wear a face mask in public.
“When it was established he did not have a face mask, he was offered one for free by the officers to assist him comply with the legal requirement,” he said.
“At that stage there was no intention to arrest or charge the man. However, once it was confirmed the man was aware of the legal requirement, had the ability to now comply with that legal requirement, and that he continued to fail to comply the direction, the officers acted in the best interest of the community and arrested him.”
The 41-year-old man was charged with failure to comply with a direction and failure to comply with request to give police personal details.
He appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court on Monday and was refused bail. He will next appear in the Midland Magistrates Court on February 19.’ https://www.watoday.com.au/national/western-australia/wa-man-arrested-charged-for-not-wearing-mask-on-first-full-day-of-lockdown-20210201-p56ykp.html