WA to electronically track COVID-19 patients who defy isolation orders

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WA to electronically track COVID-19 patients who defy isolation orders

Police get $3m for GPS devices.

The WA government will spend $3 million on GPS monitoring devices to help police track citizens who flout directions to quarantine or self-isolate at home.

Premier Mark McGowan announced the new funding on Wednesday as part of a $91 million package to support government measures to reduce the spread of the pandemic.

WA Police will use the $3 million funding to acquire 200 GPS-enabled ankle bracelets, according to 7 News

The devices will expand police tracking and tracing capabilities beyond high-risk offenders, repeat domestic violence abusers and people on bail.

The funding follows the passage of laws last week that allow police to compel someone to wear an electronic monitoring device while they are in self-isolation if they initially fail to comply.

The Emergency Management Amendment (COVID-19 Response) Act also permits police to install approved electronic monitoring devices in a person’s residence. 

Individuals that fail to comply or remove or interfere with the electronic monitoring device will face 12 months imprisonment or a $12,000 fine. 

The $91 million package also includes $14.8 million in funding for 100 automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.

The cameras will be deployed “immediately” to enforce travel restrictions that are intended to ensure citizens stay at home to limit the spread of coronavirus.

WA police minister Michelle Roberts said the “additional urgent funding” for ANPR technology would “make it easier for police to identify motor vehicles on the road”.

“It makes it less likely that people who have a legitimate purpose to be out and about will be stopped and will enhance the capacity of our police to identify and track offenders,” she said.

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