Published: 11:22, 04 August 2020
| Updated: 15:36, 04 August 2020
Families fear soaring temperatures this week could see a repeat of a huge gathering which sparked a "massive brawl" on the hottest day of the year.
A crowd of more than 100 is said to have congregated on Whitstable seafront before trouble erupted on Friday.
Smashed glass and nitrous oxide cannisters were strewn across the beach and police were called to disperse the revellers.
And now it is feared there could be a repeat of the issues this week, with thermometers set to hit a scorching 37 degrees on Friday.
One fed-up resident, Katie Braid, says she and her family are always a "little scared" when there is hot weather because it often sparks anti-social behaviour.
The 35-year-old goes as far as to say the town is becoming a "nightmare to live in".
"It has been getting worse and worse," she said.
"I dread a hot day here now. But Friday night was the worst I have ever seen."
She told how the group gradually built in size from 1pm, eventually peaking at more than 100 near the Keam's Yard car park in Island Wall.
"This was late afternoon when you still have families on the beach and poor parents with their toddlers trying to weave through these people who are drinking, smoking, have their tops off and inhaling balloons," the school teacher added.
Later in the evening, Ms Braid says two fights broke out - including one she describes as a "massive brawl between two groups".
She said her 12-year-old son was woken by the commotion, which erupted metres from their front door.
But after calling 999, police reportedly took 30 minutes to arrive.
The incident has led Ms Braid to demand dispersal orders are used more often to tackle large crowds following the success of one enforced in June.
The orders give police the power to make anyone found causing or likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress leave the area. They risk arrest should they return within 24 hours.
Ms Braid is "apprehensive" there could be a repeat of the incident as another hot weekend approaches.
"This was late afternoon when you still have families on the beach and poor parents with their toddlers trying to weave through these people who are drinking, smoking, have their tops off and inhaling balloons..."
"The last two evenings there have been a few families and that’s it," she added.
"It does seem to be the hot weather that brings the big crowds. I think that everyone would like a dispersal order in place."
Chief inspector Elena Hall said dispersal orders are only used when it is "proportionate and appropriate" to do so but added they are a "valuable tool" in fighting anti-social behaviour.
"They have proved successful in the past and only recently, officers dispersed more than 100 people when an order was in place on 26 June," she said.
"We won’t hesitate to use these measures again and we are arranging for another dispersal order to be in place this weekend."
Police say they were called at about 7pm on Friday to a disturbance involving a group of people in Island Wall.
A spokesperson said: "Officers attended and dispersed the crowd. There were no injuries reported and nobody came forward to report any offences being committed against them."
But they were called a second time at 9pm by a member of the public who witnessed another disturbance and "possible assault" taking place,
Officers attended "as soon as patrols became available" and a 21-year-old man from Whitstable was arrested on suspicion of assault and public order and later received a caution.
A dispersal order was enforced and no further issues were reported.
Canterbury City Council is considering introducing a raft of stringent Public Spaces Protection Orders in a bid to crackdown on yobs and litter louts.
The plans, which aim to crack down on nuisance behaviour, would see rule-breakers given on-the-spot fines.
People can comment on a consultation into the plans on the council's website until August 30.