A 53-year-old Perth man is set to become the first person in the country fitted with a GPS ankle bracelet for allegedly dodging hotel quarantine.
The man in question returned from visiting in family in Queensland on Friday, but hadn’t applied to re-enter the state.
At Perth airport, he complained of chest pains and was taken to hospital. Afterwards, instead of checking into mandatory hotel quarantine, he allegedly went off on his own and checked into a backpacker hostel. Police say they found him having a drink at the pub.
He’s now been put into hotel quarantine under police guard. Ultimately, he tested negative for COVID-19.
“It’s something that we contemplated as a government earlier in the year, we put the legislation through in April,” WA Police Minister Michelle Roberts said on Sunday.
“These are GPS ankle bracelets. We purchased 200 of them for this exact purpose and, as I understand it, the state emergency coordinator is progressing a direction so we can do just that.”
“We’re not about putting ankle bracelets on people that don’t need them or having additional requirements where they’re not required.”
Roberts went on to say the use of GPS ankle bracelets would be considered “on a case by case basis”, adding: “this person has proven themselves to be someone that can’t be trusted, and that’s why this action will be taken.”
The bracelet is designed to track the man’s movement to make sure he doesn’t breach quarantine restrictions.
However despite claiming not to use them when they’re not necessary, WA Police did not clarify why a tracker was necessary in this case when he’s already being put under police supervision in a hotel.