STAY CALM: Acting officer in charge at Kingaroy Police Station, Senior Sergeant Sean Relf. Photo: Kingaroy Police
STAY CALM: Acting officer in charge at Kingaroy Police Station, Senior Sergeant Sean Relf. Photo: Kingaroy Police

‘WE ARE RESILIENT’: Sergeant addresses COVID-19 fears

ACTING officer in charge at the Kingaroy Police Station, Senior Sergeant Sean Relf, has thanked the South Burnett for its response to the coronavirus crisis.

"The coronavirus threat has already impacted us here in the Kingaroy area but can I start by commending everyone for remaining calm and doing what they can to minimise the risk to others," Sen-Sgt Relf said.

"You see, this is the primary goal for all of us is reducing the transmission of the virus to our vulnerable members of the community.

"The actions we take right now will ensure their safety. I would like to re-enforce the public messages out there already including regularly washing our hands, staying at least 1.5m from others and following the rules adopted relating to social gatherings, staying home if not well and abiding by the guidelines when staying home and isolating to reduce the spread to others.

"We are resilient members of a thriving rural community. We are used to dealing with hardships and the recent droughts and fires have shown just how resilient we are.

"This issue is another test that we will pass and again demonstrate how we adapt quickly to changing circumstances to look after each other.

"Representatives from the Queensland Police Service supported by emergency services alongside the South Burnett Shire Council have already teamed up and are well advanced in terms of planning for matters that will or may arise down the track.

"The members of the Local Disaster Management Group will ensure that we support the community through this time and maintain essential services.

"To keep it simple and people informed, all information will be published through the South Burnett Regional Council website. All links to information relating to the COVID-19 issue are listed on the council's web page at https://www.southburnett.qld.gov.au/ so please check there frequently to keep up to date with information direct from the source."

Sgt Relf said policing would remain just as it was prior to this threat.

"We are still attending calls for service and will continue with our normal duties including investigating offences, prosecuting offenders where necessary and enforcing the road rules to ensure the safety of road users," he said.

"There has been some confusion relating to roadside breath tests but can I make it clear that we will continue to conduct mobile random breath testing.

"We will continue to actively target drug offending within the community and encourage people to still contact us or Crime Stoppers if you have information relating to illegal activity in our area.

"This is not and will never be a time to back away from those small sections within our wonderful community who seek to commit crimes and make life difficult for others.

"There are a range of measures in relation to additional police powers covering rules brought in to reduce the risk of further transmission. I see these as something to be used only as a last resort and call on everyone to adhere to the sound advice and take responsibility for your own actions and use commonsense to do your part to reduce further spread.

"We absolutely understand that at this time some members of the community are doing it tough but this is the time that we step up and help them and each other.

"That's just what we do in a rural community."