Acting Inspector Kelly Hanlen. Picture: Allan Reinikka
Acting Inspector Kelly Hanlen. Picture: Allan Reinikka

Massive fines issued for house parties in COVID-19 crackdown

HOUSE parties that exceeded more than two extra guests were the main cause of concern for police over the Easter long weekend in the Capricornia District.

Acting Inspector Kelly Hanlen said only 11 infringement notices were written across the entire district regarding people breaking COVID-19 restrictions.

Acting Inspector Hanlen said all fines issued were $1300 and issued in Yeppoon and west of Rockhampton, "no fines were issued in Rockhampton".

"We had a number of calls regarding people having parties with more than two people extra in the household," she said.

"Although these parties were only small numbers, under 10 people, there were multiple people at the address that didn't live there."

While some of the fines were issued at private residences, Acting Inspector Hanlen said fines were also issued to people out of their homes at odd hours of the day and night "committing other offences".

"What they were doing was clearly not an essential business or essential need, so that is why they received an infringement for COVID-19."

She said the general reaction people had to receiving a fine was "a blatant disregard for it".

Overall, police were happy with the low number of fines issued over the weekend in Capricornia.

"The Capricornia community were very well behaved," she said.

"It shows people are adhering to the chief health officer's directions and they are aware of what they should and shouldn't be doing."

Acting Inspector Hanlen also noted there had been a slight decline in property crime in the district.

"We think that could be because there are more people at home and less houses to break into while people are out at work," she said.

"If you are out doing the wrong thing, we are going to be there, and we will find you.

"If you are going to be blatantly disregarding the COVID-19 health directions you will wear the full face of the law. We would like to educate people and make you aware of what you can and can't do and we are happy to issue a warning, but if you are going to be blatantly disregarding it, you may wear a ticket."