Pervert patrol reclaims beach
A NUDIST beach near Byron Bay has become a haunt for perverts and weirdos, and locals want to see it cleaned up.
Beach goers at Tyagarah have recently reported seeing men masturbating in the dunes, people having sex on the beach, and nudity in inappropriate places such as the car park.
Women say they no longer feel safe to walk there alone because of the atmosphere and the unwanted advances they receive from men.
Less than two weeks ago a woman had to call police after a man began to follow her and act suspiciously.
“It used to be a family-friendly nude beach, but in the last few years it's got a real seedy element,” Tyagarah resident Cyd Saunders said.
The mother of two regularly takes her children, two and five, to the beach but said it was becoming impossible to relax.
“Just a few months ago my friend was walking with his 12-year-old daughter and saw men having sex on the beach,” she said.
Ms Saunders has also found condoms and syringes at a tea tree lake, a popular family swimming spot in summer.
She tries to avoid going to the beach alone because of the unwanted attention from men.
“I get approached and propositioned almost every time I go down there. Every woman I know has the same story,” she said.
Isaac Shapiro, whose partner confronted a masturbating man just last week, said residents had started their own 'pervert patrols' several years ago when there were similar problems. He thought it was time for a similar campaign.
Mitra Ardron said he would like to see more enforcement from police and rangers to 'catch people in the act'.
“If they sent a female officer down there undercover that would fish them in straight away,” he said.
“And you don't have to catch many for the word to get around.”
Inspector Owen King, of Byron Bay police, said officers from Mullumbimby and Brunswick regularly patrolled the beach and with greater frequency in the summer months.
He said the recent complaint from the woman at Tyagarah Beach had been followed up immediately, but police were unable to locate anyone on the beach that matched the description given.
Inspector King encouraged anyone who witnessed offensive behaviour to report it to police.
Cyd Saunders agrees.
“The community needs to make more of an effort to report (offensive behaviour) to police and to be proactive in telling these people to move on. I am not against nudity on the beach. I just want to feel safe,” she said.