Gold Coast Police to target beachgoers flouting lockdown rules

Police will step up patrols of Gold Coast beaches amid concerns too many people are ignoring lockdown rules.

Plenty of people took advantage of a stunning Sunday by hitting parks and beaches on the Gold Coast for some exercise.

But others were seen using the day to sunbake on beaches, which is in breach of the lockdown rules.


Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman says officers will step up checks along the coast.

“The physical exercise element is really important. We’re increasing our patrols, we have done over the weekend and we will continue to do so during the lockdown,” Acting C/Superintendent Wildman told the ABC.

“We’re putting our ATV vehicles on the beaches with Police actually doing enforcements just to make sure people aren’t deciding to throw the towel down and lay down on the beach for a rest. That’s not what the lockdown is about.”

Police say the majority of Gold Coasters have been doing the right thing by wearings masks when they leave the house but there are still those who are blatantly breaking the rules or not fully aware of them.

“We’re still sticking to the same approach we have had which is very much that compassion, communication, and compliance.

“However, Police are intercepting people who aren’t wearing a mask and actually enquiring as to why they aren’t wearing a mask.

“We’re finding a lot of people claiming exemptions and there are exemptions for people outside who can socially distance without wearing a mask.”

But Mayor Tom Tate was far more scathing of those not wearing masks, saying it’s disheartening.

“Everyone knows someone who runs a small business. By not abiding by the mask rules and stay-at-home restrictions is effectively saying to your business mate: ‘I don’t care’,” the Mayor said
“The Chief Health Officer has brought this sharp lockdown in for a reason. If we don’t get it right now, this could be a protracted lockdown.”

Police turned around 75 vehicles at Gold Coast border checkpoints on Sunday, including 31 heavy vehicles.

A 51-year-old truck driver was also arrested at the Gold Coast Highway checkpoint.

The man was stopped around 2.30pm on Sunday and did not have a border pass at all.

Checks also revealed the man had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.