Police apprehend hardened criminal

By Senior Constable Mick Emery

Social media was abuzz in mid August with reports that there was a ‘flasher at large’ in Rainbow Beach. There was some truth to those reports – although police were called to the incident on Clarkson Drive (not on the beach), and the term ‘at large’ was giving credit where none was due!

It seems a drunken male had mistakenly thought that showing his genitals to a woman walking past was somehow appropriate. As if not endearing enough, the male then also flashed a distinctive toothless smile…

The woman, while decidedly unimpressed, was able to get assistance from nearby witnesses who gave a good description of the man – their job being made a whole lot easier by the fact that he was too intoxicated to make a quick getaway and kept falling off his bike!

In the end, thanks to help from members of the public, our job of identifying this pest could not have been easier – his recently crashed bike was located in a front yard and he was found passed out only a few steps away.

The man was fined $353 for Offensive Behaviour in a Public Place, and the incident was another good example of our community working with police to send a clear message that this type of behaviour is not acceptable.

I would have thought that drink driving was also widely regarded as ‘unacceptable’ by the community – the dangers have been well publicised over many years – but this did not deter a number of drink drivers over the last month.

A 49-year-old man returned a breath-alcohol concentration of .158% (more than 3 times the legal limit) and now faces court imposed fines and a lengthy loss of license. As we’ve said before, there is no excuse for drink driving here – everyone lives within walking distance of licensed premises, and there are courtesy bus options.

Repeat traffic offenders have, in a few cases this month, also enacted new legislation aimed at curbing ‘Type 2’ offences (unlicensed driving, drink driving, unregistered / uninsured driving and high end speeding offences).

If you’ve seen Gympie tow trucks in town recently, it’s been because someone has been caught trying to ‘run the gauntlet’ for a second or third time. Second-time offenders for these offences have had their vehicles impounded for 7 days, and third-time offenders for 90 days. Should these drivers be caught a fourth time…they risk the forfeiture of their vehicle permanently.

Finally, with the September holidays approaching, it is again timely to remind locals and visitors alike to lock up their valuables. These busy periods tend to coincide with a spike in reported thefts of fishing and camping gear, even from within caravan annexes…it has to be locked away.

Please let us know of any suspicious behaviour and get a registration number of suspicious vehicles if you can do so safely.

Hopefully social media will be short on material next month…

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