A 41-year-old man from Ellenbrook has been arrested, charged and refused bail after failing to comply with a direction to wear a face mask in public today.
The man was located outside a shopping centre on Great Eastern Highway, Midland, which is within the Perth Metropolitan COVID lockdown area.
Police engaged with the man and directed him to wear a face mask and offered him a free face mask.
The man allegedly refused to wear the mask he was offered, refused to provide police with his full name and identifying information, and was subsequently arrested.
He was refused bail and appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court today, Monday, 1 February 2021 and is next due to appear in the Midland Magistrates Court on Friday, 19 February 2021.
A WA Police Force spokesperson said the initial interaction with the man was to ensure he was aware of the requirement to wear a face mask.
“The initial approach by the officers was simply to engage with the man and ensure he was aware there is a legal requirement to wear a face mask in public. When it was established he did not have a face mask, he was offered one for free by the officers to assist him comply with the legal requirement. At that stage there was no intention to arrest or charge the man.
“However, once it was confirmed the man was aware of the legal requirement, had the ability to now comply with that legal requirement, and that he continued to fail to comply the with direction, the officers acted in the best interest of the community and arrested him.
“Everyone in the community has a shared responsibility to prevent the spread of the COVID virus, and while police officers will operate under a ‘compliance with compassion’ approach, where the is a clear case of a person failing to comply with the direction, police will act to protect the community.”