An irate British man has hit out at police as he was put in handcuffs and given a fine for not wearing a mask in Melbourne during its draconian stage-four lockdown.
Handheld footage showed the pedestrian being detained and fined by six officers who surrounded him on Barkly Street in St Kilda in Melbourne’s inner-city when he refused to tell them why he was exempt from wearing a mask.
‘You need to prove I haven’t got one – I don’t need to prove it to you,’ he told police gathered on the pavement when told he needed to give them a valid reason.
‘I’ll tell you what we will do – we will issue you an infringement and you can argue it in court. How about that?’ a masked male police officer responded.
Melburnians must wear a mask in public or face a $200 fine after Premier Daniel Andrews made them mandatory across the Victorian capital and neighbouring Mitchell Shire on July 30 during the state’s deadly COVID-19 second wave.
Authorities have made exceptions for people who are exercising or have a medical condition preventing them from wearing a mask.
But despite police repeatedly asking the man to tell them why he wasn’t covering his face, he refused to give details other than to say he had an exemption.
He gave officers his UK driving licence but then accused them of ‘harassing’ him when they started to handcuff him.
‘What’s your exemption,’ the officer asked.
‘It doesn’t matter its not your business,’ the angry pedestrian responded.
When told he could argue his case in court, the man appeared to suggest the officers were acting outside of the law.
‘I don’t need to go to court mate – you’re going to get done for this,’ he said.
‘Well if you tell us what your exemption is you probably wont [need to go to court],’ the officer responded.
‘I don’t need to tell you anything mate I’m just walking down the street and you’ve put handcuffs on me,’ the man said.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Victoria Police for comment.
The footage comes after Mr Andrews announced Victoria’s State of Emergency would be in place for 18 months and lockdown restrictions would be extended beyond September.
This is despite the state recording its lowest rise in COVID-19 infections in seven weeks with 116 new cases and 15 additional deaths on Monday.
Mr Andrews said the state could not afford to lower the restrictions, and would extend the State of Emergency to 18 months in September, giving the government the power to impose further lockdown restrictions.
‘It is not an unlimited extension, it is nothing more than a recognition that this virus won’t be over on September 30,’ the premier said.
‘I would love nothing more for there to be no need for any rules on September 14, but I don’t think that is the reality.’