Chief Commissioner of Police Shane Patton said he understood Victorians were tired of lockdowns, but rioting was not the answer.
“I certainly understand that people are fatigued, they’re tired, they have got grievances and they’re frustrated, but now is not the time for protest,” he said.
“The Chief Health Officer is still determined that there are guidelines in place that prohibit mass gatherings, large gatherings and groups of people and the risk of the spread of the coronavirus is quite real in those gatherings.
“So we will do everything we can to stop the gatherings in compliance with the chief health officer guidelines. We don’t get to pick and choose the laws we enforce.
“I’d simply say this – I would implore, I plead, I’d ask, any other word that I can use, to say to people who are contemplating coming in here today to protest – do not do so. You’re not going to be welcomed with open arms, I can assure you of that.
“What is going to occur: Victoria Police have planned, we have significant tactics in place, we will be agile in our response, we will be very swift in our response and conduct as we have seen yesterday and the previous day will not be tolerated.”
However, Chief Commissioner Patton declined to outline the force’s plan today.
“I’m not going to step through the amount of police that we’re going to have on deck today, I’m not going to talk about what our tactics are save to say that those tactics will be different and we have significant police numbers.”