NT cop resigns for breaching border restrictions

by | Aug 1, 2020 | COVID-19 | 0 comments

An NT police officer has resigned after entering the Northern Territory by car and failing to follow checkpoint requirements.

The 27-year-old was one of a party of four who entered the NT via Queensland on Monday, which police now say was actually a party of five, with three of them confirmed as having been in interstate coronavirus hotspots.

The officer and his wife were issued breach notices and $5000 fines for failing to complete the required border entry forms.

NT Police said the officer, his wife and three men aged 26, 27, and 29, were placed into mandatory quarantine along with two females, aged 19 and 24, who had close contact with the group.

Police said three of the men had travelled to Queensland from Sydney and that the officer and his wife travelled from Queensland and had not been through a declared hotspot.

“They remain in mandatory quarantine and have been issued with infringement notices for contravention of emergency declaration,” a statement said.

At a press conference on Saturday, deputy commissioner Murray Smalpage said the officer’s resignation was accepted.

“The officer must have reflected on his actions and subsequently tendered his resignation which was accepted,” he said. “(He) has failed to adhere to his sworn duty as a police officer.”

The group had travelled to Alice Springs where they were isolated and investigated by police. Further charges could be laid, Mr Smalpage said.

“We are currently conducting a full and thorough criminal investigation into the action of that officer,” he said.

Chief health officer Hugh Heggie said contact tracing was continuing surrounding the party of five who went to Alice Springs. He warned people to follow the rules to avoid an outbreak in the NT.

New case of COVID-19 confirmed on Saturday

The NT Government also confirmed on Saturday that the wife of the man travelling home from Melbourne on Friday after surgery has also been infected with coronavirus.

“Since her arrival the woman has been under the care of Royal Darwin Hospital in isolation,” a statement said.

“Contact tracing has been completed. This brings the total cases diagnosed in the Northern Territory to 34; all cases are related to international or interstate travel, with no cases of community transmission.”

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