A family say they were left feeling like criminals when police questioned them over a fishing trip to a beach and their decision to share a single sunshade.
A family say they were left feeling like criminals when police questioned them over a fishing trip to a beach and their decision to share a single sunshade.

Cops left family ‘feeling like criminals’ for beach trip

A FAMILY was left "feeling like criminals" when they were questioned by police on a Bribie Island beach for sharing a single sunshade.

The Richardson family, who are from Beachmere, were told by police officers to go home when they were confronted on the beach on Wednesday.

Mum Tracy Richardson said they were left angry and confused despite doing everything possible to be "socially safe" and abide by social distancing guidelines.

"We made sure that there was no one around before stopping on the beach; we weren't endangering anyone" Mrs Richardson told The Courier-Mail.

A Beachmere family was questioned by police during a recent fishing trip to Bribie Island.
A Beachmere family was questioned by police during a recent fishing trip to Bribie Island.

The family's two teen boys had been fishing on a kayak with their father most of the morning while Mrs Richardson and her baby shared a shade on the beach.

"We were told that launching the kayak was fine, but having the sunshade up was what made them come to us." Mrs Richardson said.

She said they were then told if fishing wasn't a necessary activity, they should "go to the shops and buy it instead".

"I'd just been laid off from my job a few weeks ago, some people can't afford to go down to the shops and buy a meal. We hadn't tossed a single fish back" Ms Richardson said.

"I spent the night before looking up what we could and couldn't do.

"You're allowed to fish.

"I don't know why we need to justify it then be told it doesn't matter."

The family were eventually left alone without a warning or fine, but the experience and mixed messages left them frustrated.

"It's frustrating when you're doing all you can to do the right thing in the current situation, but police shouldn't be chasing us up just because of a sunshade."

Queensland Police refused to comment on the incident.

Originally published as Cops left family 'feeling like criminals' for beach trip


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