Top cop says eased COVID-19 rules won't mean ‘free for all’
A SENIOR police officer has reminded residents and visitors to the Far North Coast to adhere to COVID-19 rules or suffer the consequences over the festive season and into the new year.
With extra resources deployed to the region, police are reminding people to party safe.
Tweed Byron Police District Inspector Matt Kehoe said while the pandemic regulations from December 1, 2020, now allowed gatherings of up to 50 people inside a house or in a public space, people must still be careful.
"The gathering numbers increased does not give people a free-for-all to organise large parties in public spaces or in homes," he said.
"We will be cracking down if this is what we are presented with and there are some quite significant penalties in place for COVID-19 breaches."
Insp Kehoe said a recent doof party at Belongil, which was attended by 400 people, was a prime example of entitled and selfish behaviour.
He also warned anyone planning on causing trouble in the area around New Year's Eve to think twice.
"We will have a high visibility police presence with extra resources deployed," he said.
"We are trying to reinforce the message that if people do come, to respect the community and surrounds, have a safe time and be conscious of the COVID-19 restrictions."
Insp Kehoe said all available resources form the police district would be on hand to keep the community safe.
"We will be managing with operational support on the ground and as well as local resources with have support from other regions," he said.
"We want everyone to enjoy themselves but have a safe time too."
Last year residents in the popular resort town were furious with the rubbish left behind on beaches after new year's eve celebrations.