The NSW Wales Police Commissioner says he’s “deeply concerned” about the rapid take up of face masks to protect from the coronavirus and also smoke pollution.

“I understand, there are potential health benefits, but the masks also trigger very real security concerns,” says Mick Fuller.

The Police Commissioner says the masks can be used by criminals wanting to conceal their identity.

“This reduces the validity of CCTV footage, and also threatens the recent roll out of the government’s new facial recognition technology.”

There were similar concerns raised about Muslim head coverings in 2014, with some politicians calling for the Burqa to be banned from government buildings.

Mick Fuller wouldn’t reveal if there’s any state government discussions around banning face masks.

“Either way, we are discouraging their use,” he says. “The coronavirus isn’t a huge threat yet anyway.”

More to come.