Coronavirus

‘Amazing outcry’: Crime Stoppers receives 10,000 calls after anti-lockdown protest

A police officer wipes away the paint thrown by a protester on a colleague in a protest in Sydney on July 24, 2021. Source: Getty

NSW Police said Crime Stoppers has received over 10,000 reports in what they’ve dubbed an “amazing outcry” over Sydney’s anti-lockdown protest over the weekend.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said Crime Stoppers had received 10,000 calls following Saturday's anti-lockdown protest in Sydney.

Mr Fuller said there was an “amazing outcry” by the community regarding the protest and the way that police - particularly the mounted unit - were treated.

More than 200 infringement notices had been issued overnight, with over 100 fines linked to the protest, Mr Fuller said. 

Mr Fuller said there is online chatter of a protest for this coming Saturday. He warned police will come down hard on those planning to attend.

He added that police were unable to take the issue to the Supreme Court as there are no “organisers” of the protest but rather, “a bunch of anarchists” promoting the rally.

"Can I just put this warning out now to everyone? It will be heavily policed. We will be taking the ground very early," he said.

"You will be arrested. The community has spoken about that behaviour, the premier has spoken about that behaviour and it won't be tolerated."

 

NSW Police has set up a strike force of 22 detectives to identify those who breached the state’s health orders by attending the protest. 

Officers charged two men with animal cruelty after they allegedly struck police horses in Sydney’s CBD.

“We have a Strike Force established and they will continue to investigate and chase down every individual that we can identify will be either arrested and/or given tickets for their behaviour,” Mr Fuller said.

“It is not just about whether it is an unauthorised protest, it was about the danger that they put all of us at in terms of the Delta variant.”

Australian Anti-Lockdown Activists Gather For "Freedom Rally"
Unmasked protesters march down George St in Sydney, Australia. Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination activists gathered in cities across Australia at the weekend.
Getty Images AsiaPac

Over 3,500 people attended Sydney’s anti-lockdown protests on the same day that a 38-year-old died from the virus.

On Sunday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was “disgusted” by those breaching the public health orders.

“It broke my heart,” she said.

“Millions and millions of people across our state are doing the right thing and it just broke my heart that people had such a disregard for their fellow citizens.

“Each of those people who protested illegally - I’m sure have loved ones. They are going to go home and risk passing that virus onto the most closest people to them.”