A gang of intimidating youngsters are putting people off visiting a town centre and making it a "no-go zone", warn traders.
Business owners in Ramsgate including town mayor Cllr Raushan Ara, who runs a restaurant in Harbour Street, say the problem will not improve unless police patrols are increased, particularly in the evening.
Their concerns were raised following an attack on a man in Queen Street on Friday night by a gang, which was filmed and shared on social media.
The shocking footage shows the victim being punched, kicked and stamped on.
Three teenage boys were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and later bailed.
Anthony Kennedy, the manager of KFC in Queen Street, says he sees the same group hanging around outside the fast food restaurant daily and admits the problems are putting families off coming in.
“It’s been the same since I started three years ago,” he said.
“It’s the same lot, it’s a group of lads.
“People with kids wanting to use our restaurant don’t want to come in and we do notice the difference when the group aren’t outside, we have more families coming in.”
He says there needs to be increased police patrols in the town centre to crack down on the issue, adding: “I see PCSOs but the kids aren’t worried about them.”
Cllr Ara, who is also a district councillor, runs Ramsgate Tandoori. She agrees there needs to be a stronger police presence.
“Just before Christmas and during December we seemed to have lots of policing in the evening, but this January it has dropped,” she said.
“We need more policing, even just more officers walking around.
“There’s not enough presence at the moment.
“Until that happens the problem is not going to go away.”
Cllr Ara says she has had a meeting with senior police officers and is due to meet with the force again to discuss the issue.
Inspector Dan Carter, from Thanet’s Community Safety Unit, says a dispersal order was put in place after Friday’s incident.
“We want everyone to be able to enjoy Ramsgate in the evening and we do not underestimate the detrimental impact that anti-social behaviour can have on residents and visitors,” he said.
“Following the incident on Friday evening, a dispersal order was put in place in the town centre this weekend, which gave police the power to move on people causing a nuisance and made it an arrestable offence if they returned to the area within 24 hours.
“Our officers continue to carry out regular patrols of Ramsgate to provide a visible presence and deal with anyone they believe may be causing problems.”
Insp Carter added: “We encourage anyone affected by anti-social behaviour anywhere in the district to report it to us so that we can take appropriate action.”
Anyone who saw the attack on Friday night, which happened at 8.20pm, is being urged to call police on 01843 222289, quoting the reference number 46/15055/20, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.