Provincial Police echo Barrie service’s sentiment: no arbitrary stops to look for COVID compliance during stay-at-home order

The Ontario Provincial Police are among the law enforcers tasked with making sure everyone abides by the province’s recent stay-at-home order, but say it will not be stopping folks at random to look for compliance.

“In the absence of a complaint or other grounds, officers will not arbitrarily stop an individual or a vehicle or enter a dwelling for the singular purpose of checking compliance with the order,” reads a statement issued by the OPP Friday. “Individuals are not expected to provide proof of essential work. Officers can ask an individual to identify themselves if they have reasonable grounds to believe the individual is violating an Act.”

This mirrors statements made by both the Barrie Police Service and South Simcoe Police Service on Thursday, while both suggested enforcement over education of the rules may be further required during this lockdown versus the last.

RELATED: BARRIE POLICE EXPECTING TO ENFORCE MORE THAN EDUCATE DURING STAY-AT-HOME LOCKDOWN, BUT ONLY WHERE NEEDED

The police statement issued on Friday points out there is a $750 fine for failing to comply with the order and a $1,000 fine for those preventing others from complying. Maximum fines for individuals can go as high as $100,000 while corporations flouting the rule could face a fine of $10 million. Jail time could be levied as well.

The OPP is asking Ontarians to remember that 911 is for emergency use only, and not there to answer questions about the provincial government’s stay-at-home order. Provincial police point to Ontario’s COVID-19 website as a source for further information.