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Troublemakers to be moved on by police to stop violence and antisocial behaviour on Margate and Broadstairs beaches

Troublemakers will be moved on over the weekend through dispersal orders put in place to tackle the violence and antisocial behaviour seen on the beaches in recent weeks.

One will be in force in Margate and another in Broadstairs, while police patrols will be operating around Margate main sands and between Botany Bay and Viking Bay to stop any trouble.

Huge crowds of people on Margate Main Sands last Thursday. Picture: Frank Leppard Photography
Huge crowds of people on Margate Main Sands last Thursday. Picture: Frank Leppard Photography

The dispersal orders, which run from 4pm today to 4pm on Sunday, mean any group of two or more people found misbehaving or looking likely to cause problems can be moved on by a police officer.

The action is being taken as part of a wider response to the large number of visitors to the area this summer, which is being co-ordinated by Thanet District Council's beach management plan.

Chief Inspector Ed Ruffle, District Commander for Thanet, says the vast majority of those who visit enjoy themselves without causing problems for other people, but there are some who cause trouble.

"In some recent weeks we have sadly seen a minority who risk ruining it for others with excessive drinking, antisocial behaviour and, in some cases, violence," he added.

"Kent Police is working with the local authority, who has responsibility for the management of beaches, to ensure that coastal areas remain safe and pleasant places for both residents and visitors.

"These dispersal orders will see our officers regularly patrolling the areas covered and intervening where anyone is found to be misbehaving.

A fight broke out at Viking Bay, Broadstairs on Bank Holiday Monday in May
A fight broke out at Viking Bay, Broadstairs on Bank Holiday Monday in May

"Failure to comply with an instruction given by an officer could also lead to an arrest being made."

Last Thursday, 62,000 people descended on two Thanet beaches in the sweltering heat.

Some 40,000 beachgoers flocked to Margate main sands and 22,000 to Viking Bay in Broadstairs - far exceeding the safe limit for social distancing measures.

Shocking reports of fights, drug taking and boozing and people defacating in public places led to a plea from the council to the government for help.

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet


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