Beach sex pests warned: Stop it or cop fines, jail time
POLICE have warned those using a North Coast beach as a sexual destination they could wind up with fines or prison time.
Tweed Byron Police District Inspector Matt Kehoe said police had been "consulting with council and stakeholders on a regular basis" regarding concerns about sexual activity taking place at the clothing optional Tyagarah Beach, nearby Tea Tree Lakes and throughout Tyagarah Nature Reserve.
Byron Shire councillors will vote again on whether to keep the clothing optional area open next Thursday.
Councillors voted last month to retain the nude beach in a decision welcomed by Byron Naturists.
But Cr Paul Spooner lodged a rescission motion soon after.
Insp Kehoe said police had "maintained a neutral stance" as they felt it was a "council decision".
However, he said anyone engaging in illegal activity - like those marketing the beach for swingers and "dogging" - could face serious penalties.
"If they're engaging in an indecent act in that area they are committing an offence," Insp Kehoe said.
"There's no amnesty from prosecution if people are engaging in public sexual acts within that clothing optional area.
"By doing that they're committing a criminal offence and they may be prosecuted."
Depending on the offence, such behaviour could land you with a charge of offensive behaviour or an act of indecency.
The lower end of the spectrum could be dealt with by way of fine, but indecent acts could land you with up to 18 months in prison.
Insp Kehoe urged anyone who witnessed unlawful behaviour to report it.
"Regardless of what decision's made we will continue to provide a policing response in and around the Tyagarah Beach and Tea Tree Lakes area," he said.
"We'd encourage people to report any instance of lewd behaviour.
"If people are concerned about persons who are naked outside the clothing optional area, we'd encourage them to contact Byron Bay Police."
He said anyone who experiences an urgent incident or fears for their safety should phone Triple 0.