Minor? crimes

expensive finesEver been tempted to park in one of those spots at Main Beach marked for disabled drivers?

A lot of people have and have paid the consequences, copping a $392 fine.

According to senior constable Bruce Heard from Byron Bay Police, most people are stunned when they find out how much they have to pay.

And that's true of fines for a host of so-called 'minor' offences for which tickets are regularly handed out at Byron Bay, said senior constable Heard.

Some of those effences and fines include:

l Park on or near pedestrian crossing, $231.

l Park in No Stopping area, $155.

l Carry a knife, $550.

l Selling spray paint to a minor, $550.

l Fail to comply with a police direction, $220.

l 'Common' burn out in a car, $406

l 'Aggravated' burn out in a car, $522 (plus vehicle confiscated)

l Throwing litter from a car, $200.

l Throwing a lit cigarette from a car, $200.

l Throwing a cigarette butt from a car, $60.

"People get these tickets and think there has been a mistake," Senior constable Heard said.

"They can't believe the fines. I even had to show one lady the book."

Tipping over a full wheelie bin - a popular late-night pastime at Byron Bay - carries a fine of $375 a bin.

Senior constable Heard said four local 18-year-olds were recently caught tipping over bins belonging to elderly residents.

He said three of the teenagers paid the fines, but the fourth decided to take the matter to court because he said he was only the lookout.

The magistrate viewed it differently and bumped up the fine to $750.

Senior constable Heard said people would be surprised at the number of people caught carrying knives at Byron Bay.

He said it was a "very frequent offence" with young people the number one offenders and with most giving "protection" as the reason.

Once again, police numbers at Byron Bay will be boosted from December 26 through to January 16 with a crackdown on anti-social behaviour a priority.

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