Police also now have access to drones to monitor gatherings and a mobile riot truck to record confrontations and identify offenders to be arrested later.
Ashton told me at the time the weapons were for “major incidents of public disorder, demonstrations that go over the top and where we need to disperse large crowds that are out of control. We need the community to be with us on this.
“It is an ugly look to see police in riot gear in a suburban street. We now have some equipment that has not been seen before that may alarm people.”
The gear was ordered after a series of demonstrations and riots in which police were outnumbered and many received serious injuries. At the time, police were concerned at running gang fights around Moomba Festival and repeated clashes between ultra-right and left activists.
No one could have imagined the equipment would first be used to enforce government health orders.
Yes, no one could have imagined that.
And the same seen from a different perspective, a very different perspective. From Zipster in the comments.