Queensland Police issue 70 fines, 21 arrests for lockdown breaches

More Queenslanders have been fined for breaching Covid-19 restrictions in the past 24 hours than on any other day since the pandemic began last year.

Health authorities and police have lashed the “unacceptable” and “disappointing” behaviour that resulted in 70 people being fined for breaching the lockdown rules.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said it was the highest level of enforcement police had to undertake since the pandemic began.

He said 34 people were fined at an illegal protest in Brisbane, including 15 who were arrested for failing to comply with police direction.

Six other people were also arrested in separate incidents across South East Queensland for breaching the rules, while police handed out 168 masks.

“We will not tolerate that,” Mr Gollschewski said on Tuesday.

Queensland Police issue 70 fines, 21 arrests for lockdown breaches

Camera IconPolice question pedestrians as they patrol the CBD during lockdown in Brisbane. NCA NewsWire / Jono Searle Credit: News Corp Australia

“It is unacceptable that all of our community vastly take this very seriously, we in the police take this seriously, but a portion of our community think they can continue to do whatever they think they want.

“I’m sorry to say that the types of offences we’re seeing is exactly the same ones that we saw all the way through.

“People failing to carry masks and refusing to put them on when given the opportunity to do.

“People being out and about in the lockdown when they don’t have an exempt purpose to do that, no valid reason to do that.

“People given the directions and the opportunity to come comply with police and refusing to do so.”

Queensland Police issue 70 fines, 21 arrests for lockdown breaches

Camera IconQueensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the lockdown rules breakers were disappointing. NCA Newswire / Dan Peled Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr Gollschewski vowed that police would increase their presence in the community to crack down on those flouting the rules.

“Our community can expect to start seeing things like an RBT-type interception on the roads where we will check to see if people have the right reasons to be out,” he said.

“The community has nothing to worry about if they fit within those exemptions and those valid purposes for going out.

“Of course, people need to go out and get essential supplies, for essential purposes – they have nothing to fear if they’re doing the right thing or trying to and our police officers will help them.

“If you know you are doing the wrong thing and do not intend to change your behaviour, there are serious consequences.

“It is a $1378 fine for contravening a direction from an emergency officer, which includes our police, and a $260 fine for a mask.

“If you continue to not comply, you face arrests and being put before the court.”

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said it was “disappointing” to see so many Queenslanders breaking the rules.

“Police are and will be enforcing the lockdown and these health directions,” he said.

“They shouldn’t have to. So by breaching them, we make the job of our police harder, the job of our health contact tracers harder.

“So we urge everyone to be aware that police will be enforcing the lockdown and all of the health directions.”

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