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Beach box BBQ bust: Beachgoers fined for flouting restrictions

3AW Mornings

Police issued 99 fines for shutdown breaches yesterday.

It takes the total number of infringements issued for breaches across the Easter long weekend to 532.

Among those fined was a group of four people enjoying a BBQ at Brighton beach bathing box.

Also fined were:

  • Four people gathering together outside shops in Baxter after visiting friends.
  • Several instances of private gatherings at residential properties.
  • 10 people at a home in Montrose with multiple cars coming and going.
  • 10 people gathered for a party in a backyard at Strathdale.

It comes after a leaked memo from the Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton revealed fears that the inconsistent approach to handing out fines could erode public confidence in the force.

But Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt told 3AW Mornings the police are mostly getting it right in very difficult circumstances.

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“They’re being asked to put themselves out there, and when they do that they’re exposing themselves and their families,” he said.

“I think the majority of the community would have a degree of sympathy for them.”

Fines issued to a couple who posted old holiday snaps in April have been revoked as police admit the enforcement of lockdown laws is eroding public confidence in police.

The couple were fined for flouting coronavirus restrictions based on photos posted to Facebook.

But they were at home when they posted the photos, which had been taken in Lakes Entrance in June last year.

In an internal police memo seen by The Age, Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton says the inconsistent approach to enforcing the directives of the Chief Health Officer “erodes public confidence in Victoria Police”.

He urges all officers to issue fines for only the most blatant and deliberate breaches of the state’s lockdown regulations.

3AW Mornings