Mainstream media are finally reporting on the Victorian government’s new bill to hand authorities the power to arrest anyone, even if they have not committed an offence.
10 News Melbourne reports: “[The] new law would give police the power to preemptively detain anyone with COVID or their close contacts even if they haven’t broken the law. All that’s required is that the officer thinks they might breach restrictions in the future.”
The report notes that the Health Department could also empower non-police, such as Public Safety Officers or Work Safe Inspectors, to preemptively detain citizens.
The new legislation places “no limit on detention time, no legislative oversight and no clear avenue for appeal.” Those detained could be placed in quarantine facilities to be monitored by authorities.
The law could see the arrest, not only of anyone the state deems a “conspiracy theorist” and therefore likely to neglect current restrictions, but also their family members and close contacts even if a crime has not been committed.
Daniel Andrews' plan to give police the power to arrest people who haven't even committed an offence were put to parliament today. The new laws would even give public servants the power of arbitrary detention against citizens they think might breach lockdown | @SimoLove #springst pic.twitter.com/2dc8w2efx1— 10 News First Melbourne (@10NewsFirstMelb) September 17, 2020