Lockdown excuse cops won’t buy

Police have cracked down on Victorians claiming to have left their masks at home while out for their one-hour of daily exercise or shopping.

At least 18 people have been fined for failing to wear a face covering the past 24 hours, but police appear fed up with the “‘I forgot” excuse.

A police spokeswoman said there were numerous examples of people who were fined in the past day after being caught in public without face coverings and claimed “to have left it at home”.

Masks have been mandatory for all Victorians – in both Melbourne and regional areas – when they leave their homes since August 2, with 1161 people so far hit with a $200 fine for failing to wear one.

The 18 non-mask wearers were among 129 Victorians fined in the past 24 hours for breaches of the chief health officer’s coronavirus restrictions.

A man was caught in Broadmeadows after travelling from Sunshine North and claimed he was on his way to drop off rice to his children.

But police searched his car and allegedly uncovered a quantity of drugs and $11,990 in cash.

He was fined and it’s understood he is expected to be charged with drug offences.

A woman was also fined after being caught breaching curfew in Southbank where she told officers she was out to buy cigarettes.

Police have now issued 8217 infringements since stage 3 restrictions were reinstated in Melbourne in early July, about $11.6 million in fines.

jack.paynter@news.com.au

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