Police from Cairns and Port Douglas responded to complaints from the local community about a large party on Wangetti Beach yesterday morning (August 8) which drew a crowd of around 200 to 300 people.
On arrival officers located people illegally camping, vehicles parked illegally, alcohol being consumed on the beach, as well as a stage with a DJ playing loud music over a sound system.
Police dispersed the crowd and conducted enforcement actions which included random breath tests, consumption of liquor in a public place and being intoxicated in a public place.
A direction was issued under the Noise Abatement Act and the musical equipment unplugged.
A large section of the crowd became unruly and hostile towards police with additional resources necessary to retain control of the situation.
Acting Superintendent Mark Linwood, Far North District said police showed incredible patience and tolerance continuing to negotiate with the large crowd and give move-on directions. Officers also tipped out large quantities of alcohol.
A 35-year-old Cairns North man was arrested and charged with one count each of possession of a dangerous drug, possession of suspected stolen property, public nuisance and two counts of obstruct police. He is due to appear in Cairns Magistrates Court on November 6.
Two 23-year-old men were also issued with Notices to Appear in court for allegedly drink driving (0.084g/210L and 0.090g/210L).
A number of Infringements were also issued by local council in relation to illegal camping.
Police investigations are continuing in relation to the Chief Health Officer directions.
Acting Superintendent Mark Linwood also urged Queenslanders not to let their guard down and ignore the health warnings and directions.
“By and large Queenslanders have done a great job in combating Covid-19 but we cannot and must not become complacent.
“Covid-19 and the threat it poses to all Queensland communities is real. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure they are practising effective social distancing and following the directions as set out by the Chief Health Officer.
The QPS and partner agencies will continue to work with the community to guide compliance and mitigate the threat of COVID-19 in Queensland, however blatant disregard for the directions may result in fines being issued.
Police will use discretion in how they respond to various circumstances however if people blatantly disobey any of the public health directions, officers can issue on the spot fines of $1,334 for individuals under section 362D of the Public Health Act 2005.
Members of the public who wish to report blatant breaches of public health directions during Covid-19 should complete a report on the QPS website: https://forms.police.qld.gov.au/launch/SuspiciousActivity