Police in New South Wales may be monitoring live-streamed Church services as part of their efforts to ensure weekly worship is conducted in accordance with state-imposed restrictions.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys was asked during a recent press conference if authorities were monitoring online streaming of church services for rule-breaking, such as singing or not wearing a mask.
“We’re seeing clear video evidence that rules are being broken,” the reporter told the Deputy Commissioner.
Worboys described such church activities as “very concerning to the police operation” and assured the public that “every effort [is] going into those particular church services that are coming up on streaming.”
According to the Deputy Commissioner, police are working proactively, visiting pastors, and others involved, to “dissuade” them from violating any of the current restrictions during a live-streamed worship service.
“Commissioner Fuller has made it very clear that that activity cannot go on,” Worboys said. “Police will go to those locations at those times and take the appropriate action.”
Worboys’ comments come after a Sydney church was issued over $30,000 in fines on Sunday for conducting an “illegal” worship service.
Authorities reportedly “stormed” Christ Embassy’s Blacktown premises on Sunday evening following a tip-off to Crime Stoppers.
Officers said they found a group of approximately 60 adults and children inside the building participating in an in-person church service.
Thirty adults in attendance were issued a $1,000 fine for breaking the rules on gathering, while the church itself was fined $5,000.