Melburnians have expressed outrage at mobile surveillance units that are being covertly deployed to monitor residents during the city’s strict lockdown.
One of the mobile CCTV trailers has been placed at Victoria Gardens in Prahran since last week, but has also been spotted at other locations around the inner-south local government area of Stonnington.
‘If you have a look around, everyone is doing the right thing and there’s absolutely no need for us to be spied on. They have no regard for our civil liberties,’ David Grayson from St Kilda East told The Age after visiting the park on Sunday.
Melbourne locals have expressed outrage at mobile surveillance units that are being covertly deployed to monitor residents during the city’s strict Stage 4 coronavirus restrictions
Melbourne has been under strict Stage 4 lockdowns since the end of July (pictured)
Mr Grayson also questioned whether the cameras would have any real impact on helping to enforce restrictions.
‘Are you telling me that someone is watching a screen somewhere and then sends the cops over when they see someone having a picnic or holding hands?’
Other residents have also voiced concerns over the mobile suveillance cameras and whether police and local government were overstepping their authority.
Denzil Griffiths from Prahran made a complaint to his federal MP Dr Katie Allen who represents the seat of Higgins.
‘This is just the latest intrusion in our lives and there’s no justification for this type of surveillance. This is a public park, where parents go with there kids, people walk dogs and old people go for exercise as they’re all entitled to do’, Mr Griffiths said.
Victoria Police have confirmed the units are deployed in other areas in Melbourne but would not reveal how many units there are or there locations.
One of the mobile CCTV trailers has been placed at Victoria Gardens in Prahran (pictured) since last week, but has also been spotted at other locations around the inner-south local government area of Stonnington
One man is seen caught in a scuffle with a Victorian police officer during the protest (pictured on Saturday) with wild scenes caught on camera
Police line up on horseback in Melbourne as hundreds of protesters descend onto the coronavirus-riddled city
‘The cameras can help to capture and deter breaches of Chief Health Officer directions as well as other crimes and community safety issues,’ ‘ a police spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.
‘For operational reasons we will not be providing commentary on how many of these units are being used or where and when they are positioned.’
The City of Stonnington also acknowledges the use of the CCTV on their website.
‘CCTV in Stonnington is part of a package of crime prevention measures … Cameras are located at Chapel Street precinct and Toorak Village, and there is also a rapid deployment CCTV trailer,’ the website states.
Melbourne was placed under strict Stage 4 lockdown at the end of July, which includes limits on businesses and social gatherings, rules that people must wear masks in public, and and 8pm to 5am curfew.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday the Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne would be extended for another two weeks until the end of September.
The announcement followed protests in Melbourne in Saturday in which hundreds of activists clashed with police officers, some on horseback, to rally against the lockdowns in the so-called ‘Freedom Day’ event.
One woman with a top reading: ‘Freedom’ was seen being dragged away by two police officers and she desperately tried to fight them off