UPDATED: Six charged and 55 PINs issued following protest activity at NSW/QLD border

Monday, 23 August 2021 02:04:09 PM

NSW Police have charged six people and issued 55 Penalty Infringement Notices following protest activity in Tweed Heads yesterday.

On Sunday (22 August 2021), a high-visibility police operation was launched by officers from Tweed/Byron and Richmond Police Districts to prevent, disrupt and respond to any planned mass gathering or protest activity.

During the operation, protestors crossed the border between Queensland at Coolangatta and NSW at Tweed Heads, with nine people arrested and taken to Tweed Heads Police Station.

Six people – aged between 27 and 64 – were charged with various offences, including assault police officer in execution of duty, resist officer in execution of duty, hinder police officer in execution of duty, possess prohibited drug, unlawfully participate in outdoor gathering-stay at home area and not comply with noticed direction re 7/8/9 – COVID-19.

All six were granted conditional bail to appear at Tweed Heads Local Court on Monday 20 September 2021.

A 39-year-old man was also arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant, he was refused bail to appear at Tweed Heads Local Court today (Monday 23 August 2021).

Officers issued 55 Penalty Infringement Notices for breaches of the Public Health Orders – 32 were issued with $3000 PINs for not comply with Outdoor Public Gathering Direction, and 23 were issued with $1000 PINs for not comply with noticed direction re s 7/8/9 – COVID-19.

Detectives from Tweed/Byron Police District are reviewing CCTV and mobile phone vision and are conducting extensive inquiries to continue to identify and prosecute protest participants.

Anyone with information or vision of yesterday’s protest activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers through the online portal or by contacting 1800 333 000. Every single report will be investigated.

Tweed/Byron Police District Commander, Superintendent Dave Roptell, said officers will not hesitate to strongly enforce the Public Health Orders.

“Our officers are reviewing all available vision to ensure we are able to identify and take appropriate action against those who were in attendance yesterday,” Supt Roptell said.

“The majority of the Far North Coast community have been doing the right thing by following the Stay at Home orders and keeping the community safe. It is extremely frustrating that a minority of people continue to have a blatant disregard for the wider community’s safety and put other people in danger.

“The Public Health Orders are in place to limit movement so we can prevent further spread of COVID-19 – the Delta variant doesn’t follow boundaries or borders, we need to work together to stop the outbreak.

“Our goal is to get out of lockdown, and this sort of mass gathering is not to help us going forward,” Supt Roptell said.

Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any public health order or behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community by contacting Crime Stoppers: on 1800 333 000 or via https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.