Coronavirus: Breaking lockdown rules could end in 6 month prison sentence for people

People who flout the lockdown rules could face up to six months in prison, the police have revealed.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said on Thursday that any "serious breaches and prolific breaches" of the rules will be prosecuted.

"We'll take the approach we always take with any type of offence - we'll use our discretion," he said.

"It might be just obstructing police, for example, that's only three months or six months [in prison]."

He said the police's job is to ensure people are kept safe and well during the lockdown, and it's important to comply with the rules.

The way police will approach this is by being visible in the community.

"Our approach is that initially, we're all about engagement, we're all about encouragement and we're all about education. What we'll do next is engage with people to ensure that they know what's required of them," Bush said.

They will take a discretionary approach in the first instance and people will be warned and challenged about whether they're an essential service or going about essential business,

A record will be kept of people who breach the requirements.

"If people don't comply, we do have the authority to then detain them, take them to our place and put them somewhere that will allow them to contemplate the impact of their decisions."

The lockdown began at 11:59pm on Wednesday and will last for at least four weeks.