Victoria’s police chief ‘absolutely concerned’ about anti-lockdown protesters

Four men have been arrested and almost $15,000 in fines issued after large groups of anti-lockdown protesters marched through the streets of Dandenong.

Police were called to George Andrews Reserve in Dandenong after close to 100 people – mainly young men – spread through nearby streets, before clashing with police during a recurring stage four lockdown protest which flared up on Wednesday afternoon.

Video footage shows a gathering of large groups of people walking in Dandenong and police presence on the ground.

Mr Patton said there had been arrests and infringements issued to protesters in the same area on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night this week.

He said he was "absolutely concerned" with the behaviour and said the police presence in the area would be bolstered.

"There are some people there taking advantage of the situation who are anti-police, anti-government, anti-everything," he said on 3AW.

"They mightn't be happy with the lockdown we’re in, no one is [but] nothing entitles them to protest in public. They cannot do it.

Video footage of the protest posted online.Credit: 

"We'll do what we can do and put more people there and arrest more people."

The large group carried speakers playing the national anthem and protest songs.

Police were forced to block off roads and can be heard in footage posted online calling for the group to move.

A police spokesman said four men were arrested for failing to provide identification and for breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions. Nine more people were fined $1652 each for breaching the stage four lockdown restrictions.

They said a 28-year-old Dandenong man was charged with assaulting and resisting police, failing to state his name and address and breaching the Chief Health Officer's directions.

A 19-year-old Dandenong man was charged with using threatening words, failing to state his name and address, and breaching the Chief Health Officer's directions.

A 22-year-old Dandenong man was charged with failing to state his name and address and breaching the Chief Health Officer's directions. All three were released pending summons.

A 43-year-old Dandenong man was also charged with failing to state his name and address and breaching the Chief Health Officer's directions. He was bailed to appear at Dandenong Magistrates Court on December 11.

Video footage posted online of the clash with police at Dandenong.Credit: 

Mr Patton said he was aware of a planned anti-lockdown rally to be held in Melbourne's CBD next weekend.

Police have more power to halt protests under stage four lockdown and under the state of disaster declaration.

Mr Patton said police would do everything they could to stop the event going ahead.

Video footage posted online of the clash with police at Dandenong.Credit: 

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