The West Australian exclusive

COVID-19: Police Operation Tide extended, internal e-mail reveals

Phil HickeyThe West Australian
Police officers at Perth Airport.
Camera IconPolice officers at Perth Airport. Credit: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

The dedicated police operation set up last year to manage the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended for at least another 12 months.

The one year extension is a clear indication of just how serious WA Police is still treating the virus, which it has described as a “continuing threat” to WA.

Hundreds of police officers have been pulled from various other squads and units across the State to work on Tide since it was set up early last year.

And in a recent email to the 400 plus officers attached to the specialist team, WA Police announced that approval had been given to extend the Operation Tide structure for a further 12 months.

“The Operation Tide portfolio will continue to lead the operational and strategic police response to support the State of Western Australia in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic across the community,” the email states.

It is the intention of the WA Police Force to continue to maintain the Operation Tide structure and operating model to meet these emerging and continuing threats.

Many of the officers attached to Tide have been deployed to roadside border checkpoints, airports and quarantine locations to manage and closely monitor interstate travellers.

Tide officers have also been primarily responsible for charging and arresting hundreds of people who have breached directions under the Emergency Management Act.

The latest WA Police Force annual report reveals officers have issued a total of 383 infringements and prosecuted 315 people under the act.

More than 330 of those infringements were for breaching self-isolation or quarantine directions.

On Wednesday police revealed Tide officers had recently carried out an operation which found one in four interstate truck drivers were flouting mask rules when stopping at roadhouses or fuel stations.

Police say checks of 129 transport, freight and logistics drivers carried out between October 18 and 25 resulted in the issuing of 32 infringements for failing to wear a face mask.

“Whilst it is pleasing the majority of people are doing the right thing, all drivers and workers in the transport, freight and logistics industry are reminded of the increased health risk they pose by regularly travelling interstate and the requirements they must comply with to limit the spread of COVID-19 into WA,” police said in a statement.

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