Published: 18:27, 29 June 2020
| Updated: 18:29, 29 June 2020
The enforcement of a 48-hour dispersal order - designed to keep yobs away from a Kent beach - resulted in more than 100 people being moved on by police over the weekend.
Eight troublemakers in Whitstable were officially slapped the notice to leave and one man was arrested, while dozens voluntarily vacated the area.
The order was put in place after residents and beach-goers said boy-racers and louts binging on laughing gas were making the town a living "nightmare".
After coming into force at 4pm on Friday, a 22-year-old man from Gillingham was arrested at the West Quay after he returned to the area despite being dispersed earlier in the day. He received a £90 penalty notice for disorder.
Subsequent patrols carried out throughout the weekend, resulted in advice being dished out to members of the public and large groups of people.
Despite the increased patrols and dispersal order, litter and laughing gas cannisters were again left strewn across the harbour on Saturday - suggesting the threat of being arrested failed to prevent some from causing a nuisance.
One fed-up resident said: "I have never seen such a quantity of these cannisters.
"Who is using them I can't say but all I can say is cannisters were just left everywhere."
Those who were given dispersal notices were not allowed to return the area within the next 24 hours.
The order covered most of the town, including Harbour Street, Old Bridge Road, Cromwell Road, the seafront, the harbour and Tankerton Slopes.
Insp Guy Thompson says the weekend enforcement delivered positive results.
"The response officers had from local people and visitors this weekend was positive and supportive," he said.
"We take reports of anti-social behaviour seriously, and believe residents and traders shouldn’t have to put up with it, so we continue to work with partner agencies to see where we can reduce any incidents of ASB.
"Our additional patrols will continue and I urge people to keep reporting incidents to us as they see it happen. The information is invaluable in ensuring any issues can be policed effectively."
MP Rosie Duffield welcomed the extra police presence and tweeted her appreciation to the force for "reassuring residents".