Seafront officers are tackling a rising tide of law-breaking dog walkers and cyclists in Brighton and Hove.
Other problems include beach hut break-ins and vandalism, barbecues on the seafront lawns and beach and tents on the lawns.
There have also been reports of anti-social behaviour, not least with crowds at times ignoring the covid-19 coronavirus social distancing rules.
A report to councillors said that increasing numbers of dog owners were breaking the by-law requiring all dogs on the prom to be on a lead.
It said that seafront officers spoke with 464 dog owners whose pets were off their lead along Hove prom last year. Just six months into this year, they have spoken to 505 dog owners.
And last year seafront officers spoke to 803 cyclists who were breaking the ban on riding a bike along much of the promenade in Hove. Already this year they have spoken with 464 people cycling along the prom in Brighton and Hove.
Councillors are due to discuss a growing number of incidents of vandalism, anti-social behaviour and broken by-laws later this week.
It follows a request for a report that was made last month by Conservative councillors and which received cross-party support.
The report – going before the council’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee on Thursday (18 June) – said: “There are over 450 beach huts and 22 chalets on Hove seafront.
“In 2019 records show five chalets and 29 beach huts were subject to vandalism of some form.
“In 2020 a total of 12 beach huts and 17 chalets have been subject to vandalism of some form.”
The latest figures include a series of break-ins last month. The report said: “In May this year, nine of the council-owned chalets in Hove were broken into.
“It is not known whether any items were taken or if any further damage was caused inside.
“However, the Seafront Office spent some time resecuring these and contacting the tenants to inform them of the break-in.
“The police have been investigating these incidents and have created a problem profile so that the situation can be better managed and targeted.”
While Hove seafront was said not to be considered as a priority area for tackling anti-social behaviour and crime and disorder. the report said: “The police are currently doing more active patrols along the seafront (due to social distancing requirements) and speaking to members of the public and advising anyone they meet.
“For residents that are at the beach huts, they are giving crime prevention advice.
“Messages regarding the police presence on the seafront and securing beach huts have also been sent out via social media.”
So far this year the council’s community safety casework team, which works in partnership with Sussex Police, has received one complaint – about tents on Hove Lawns in January.
The report also said: “Seafront officers report that (by-laws) are often breached but formal enforcement action is difficult without police assistance.
“Instead, officers educate, encourage and advise the public which does, in most cases, result in voluntary compliance.”
The committee is due to hold a “virtual” meeting starting at 4pm on Thursday (18 June). The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.
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