Covid Sydney: Bankstown cop tells protesters he’s tired of lockdown but warns more police will come

A no-nonsense cop has been praised for the way he handled the lockdown protests in Bankstown, the residents’ emptiness and told them he also struggles with government guidelines.

Demonstrations took place in Sydney on Saturday following Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian’s announcement that restrictions would be tightened to curb the spread of the highly contagious Delta strain.

Footage of a protest in Sydney’s South West Bankstown – where residents are weathering the toughest lockdowns in the state – have surfaced showing a police officer trying to reason with those in attendance.

“We’ve had enough of this lockdown junk. But this mess right here [the protests] doesn’t help,’ said the officer.

He warned that the likely outcome of protests would be increased public scrutiny and a deployment of even more police officers to contain the crowds and civil unrest in the coming days.

“The government has put in place rules that we must enforce… we’re just as over them as you are,” he continued.

A female protester is handcuffed by police during the rally in Paul Keating Park in Bankstown (pictured)

‘I understand your frustrations, I also have family who are having a hard time. It is nonsense.’

Ms Berejiklian on Saturday introduced particularly severe restrictions on residents of Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury boroughs in an effort to curb the spread of Covid in the area.

Authorities report disproportionately high daily cases in those areas, with 79 of the 105 cases on Sunday coming from the three closed local government areas.

The rest of Greater Sydney is also subject to lockdown orders, and chief health officer Dr. Kerry Chant claimed that unlinked cases of transmission still occur in metropolitan Sydney.

Protesters turned their fury at Ms Berejiklian as they chanted “Freedom, Liberty,” “No to the vaccine,” and “P**k off Gladys” as they marched through Paul Keating Park.

The demonstration, staged via social media, was expected to attract a thousand people, but the smaller numbers that showed up just after 3 p.m. from the start were overtaken by police.

A no-nonsense cop has been praised for handling the lockdown protests in Bankstown, residents' emptiness and telling them he's also struggling with government guidelines

A no-nonsense cop has been praised for handling the lockdown protests in Bankstown, residents’ emptiness and telling them he’s also struggling with government guidelines

A Bankstown resident said protesters were outraged that already strict lockdown restrictions in the Southwest would be tightened.

‘People have lost their jobs and their freedom. I am a truck driver, how do I rent my truck? Or feed my family,” the 38-year-old, who asked for his first M, told the Daily Mail Australia.

He said those in Sydney’s southwest felt they had been unfairly targeted by the government.

“When Bondi got the virus, why didn’t they seal those areas off?” he said.

‘We can’t go there, they can go here. If the government is really that concerned, why don’t they lock everyone up the same way?’

The officer in the Tik Tok video acknowledged that those in attendance had the right to protest in Australia.

A resident of Bankstown told Daily Mail Australia the new restrictions would mean he would be unemployed for at least two years and struggling to pay the rent of his truck.

A resident of Bankstown told Daily Mail Australia the new restrictions would mean he would be unemployed for at least two years and struggling to pay the rent of his truck.

Police stop one of the protesters in Bankstown's Paul Keating Park on Saturday (pictured)

Police stop one of the protesters in Bankstown’s Paul Keating Park on Saturday (pictured)

But he begged the public to have some common sense on the matter, stating that “when there are rules about gatherings, [protests] not help’.

He was then directed to another mob, which grew louder and louder. When he said goodbye to the group, they thanked him for taking the time to discuss the matter with them and for having “done his job well.”

“Spread the word, anyone who pulls out their phone and hangs out just hunts them for more,” he said, pointing to the noisier crowd.

“Some of them will probably be stupid and push a cop or something, and it will get worse. We don’t want to lock people up.’

Footage of the conversation has since gone viral, with dozens of people showing their “respect” to the officer for being so honest.

“This guy just said it like it is…he’s a decent cop.”

He warned that the likely outcome of protests would be increased public scrutiny and a deployment of even more police officers to contain the crowds and civil unrest in the coming days.

He warned that the likely outcome of protests would be increased public scrutiny and a deployment of even more police officers to contain the crowds and civil unrest in the coming days.

Police who attended the demonstration can handcuff a female protester (pictured)

Police who attended the demonstration can handcuff a female protester (pictured)

Others said he had given other officers a blueprint on how to control those in need.

“I’d like to shake his hand,” said another.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted NSW Police for comment.

On Sunday, Ms Berejiklian revealed that announcing the severe restrictions on the three councils was “the hardest day” she had in her role as prime minister.

“Yesterday was a very, very difficult day for everyone, for everyone. And I’m not ashamed to say that yesterday in public life was probably the hardest day I’ve had,” she said.

The protest started around 3 p.m. on Saturday

The protest started around 3 p.m. on Saturday

The protest began around 3 p.m. on Saturday as those in attendance marched through Paul Keating Park as police watched (pictured)

But she felt it was the only way to keep people safe and reduce the risk of transmission after the data showed they “still fail to get the transfer curve down.”

The 810,000 people living in those regions were initially told not to leave their suburbs, even for work, unless they are employed in health care, aged care or emergency services until at least July 30.

All essential workers allowed to leave their suburbs to work are subject to the same restrictions previously in place, which is to receive a negative Covid test every three days.

“I don’t remember our state being challenged to such an extent,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“None of these decisions were taken lightly.”

Lockdown restrictions on three LGAs in Sydney's southwest have been tightened (Photo: Protesters in Bankstown on Saturday)

Lockdown restrictions on three LGAs in Sydney’s southwest have been tightened (Photo: Protesters in Bankstown on Saturday)

The announcement sparked frenzied phone calls to authorities and confusion about other industries otherwise considered essential.

In response, Ms. Berejiklian’s team changed the criteria late Saturday night and expanded the parameters to include people who work in garden centers, bottle shops and factories.

Delivery workers and people who work in supermarkets, newsagents or have to maintain utilities such as gas, electricity, waste management or water are also allowed to leave their closed suburbs to work.

Non-essential construction work will be off limits for at least two weeks.

M said the construction ban was particularly devastating for him and many of his friends.

‘Now I am unable to work for two weeks. Who’s going to pay my rent or the $800 tuition for my two kids. Will the government pay for that?’

“I have two elderly parents and I can’t even visit them to make sure they are taken care of.

“Australians should come together and protest against this. Stand up to the government,” he said.

Police talking to locals in Bankstown on Saturday night (pictured)

Police talking to locals in Bankstown on Saturday night (pictured)

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