Bournemouth beach campers face being woken and fined £1,000

Bournemouth beach campers face being woken and fined £1,000 as council hires 75-strong beach patrol as sunworshippers flock to 15-mile stretch of sand

  • Campers on Bournemouth beach face a £1,000 fine amid strict new regulations
  • Council staff will patrol the beach 24 hours a day amid overnight camping ban
  • Revellers could face an ‘uncomfortable night’s sleep’ amid hourly night patrols
  • The rules are part of a summer readiness plan to keep beaches ‘safe’ this summer
  • Bournemouth beach became packed with sunbathers during lockdown last year 

Campers on Bournemouth beach could face being woken up and given an £1,000 fine as the council hires an overnight patrol to police the 15-mile stretch of sand.

Council staff are patrolling Bournemouth beach 24 hours a day to ensure any sun-worshippers breaching an overnight camping ban faces an ‘uncomfortable night’s sleep’.

Revellers are being warned they could face prosecution and a £1,000 fine if they choose to camp on the popular Dorset beach.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council has employed an additional 75 staff to help managed the 15-mile stretch of beach, which became packed last summer and led to congested roads and irresponsible parking.

Council staff (pictured) are patrolling Bournemouth beach 24 hours a day to ensure any sun-worshippers breaching an overnight camping ban faces an ‘uncomfortable night’s sleep’.

Councillor May Haines said hourly wake up calls have already been carried out on ’12 groups of campers’ in nearby Southbourne this weekend, who ‘left as a result of this’, the BBC reported. 

The huge fines and strict patrols are part of a summer readiness plan, in place from March 29 until September, to help keep beaches ‘safe’ as they prepare for a surge in visitors this year, according to the council’s website.

There will also be extra security patrols and Covid-19 marshals in place in ‘hot spot areas’ to ‘deal with anti-social behaviour and COVID-19 regulations’, while additional policing has also been set up for ‘key busy dates’.

There were concerns lockdown and social distancing measures would collapse last summer as thousands of sun-worshippers ignored strict Covid rules and crowded on to Bournemouth beach.

Bournemouth beach became a sea of colourful umbrellas during last summer’s scorching weather as people set up for long days in the balmy heat, pictures showed.

The seaside destination, along with other beaches including Brighton and Cornwall, became a popular holiday spot for Britons amid Covid restrictions on foreign travel.

Revellers are being warned they could face prosecution and a £1,000 fine if they choose to camp on the popular Dorset beach. Pictured: Lifeguard on Bournemouth beach

The rules are part of a summer readiness plan, in place from March 29 until September, to keep Bournemouth beach (pictured on June 20) ‘safe’ as they prepare for a surge in visitors this year

And Bournemouth is again expecting high visitor numbers as more than 400,000 visitors flocked to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole over the hottest weekend so far of 2021, according to the council.

Speaking about the camping ban, a council spokesman said: ‘As part of our seasonal response plan, we’re putting in place a 24-hour beach patrol to deal with those camping on the beach.

‘Our beaches are not a place for overnight camping and people who choose to camp on them will risk prosecution and a £1,000 fine.

‘Anyone thinking of camping on the beach can expect an uncomfortable night’s sleep as our beach patrol team will repeatedly visit them to gather evidence before taking prosecution action.’

He added: ‘Extra security patrols, Covid-19 marshals and additional CSAS officers will be deployed on the ground in hot spot areas to provide a uniformed presence and deal with anti-social behaviour and Covid-19 regulations.

‘Additional policing has also been sourced for key busy dates.

There were Covid-19 fears last summer after massed crowded on to Bournemouth beach (pictured on August 8) last summer as it became a popular holiday spot

Concerns rose that lockdown measures would collapse as thousands of sun-worshippers ignored strict Covid-19 rules to head to beaches. Pictured: Bournemouth beach on August 8

Bournemouth beach (pictured on August 10) became a sea of colourful umbrellas during last summer’s scorching weather as people set up for long days in the balmy heat

‘Public toilets will remain open with extended opening times into the evenings at key sites, and additional cleansing operations will be in place.

‘We will be clear though we welcome responsible visitors to our resort.

‘People who will treat things with care, behave reasonably and pick up after themselves.’ 

The beach guidelines on the council’s website instead urged visitors to stay overnight at one of the nearby campsites in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole to avoid getting fined.

Wild camping, which refers to pitching up a tent and sleeping overnight not on a campsite or caravan park, is generally illegal in England and Wales but can be permitted with permission from the landowner, according to Trespass.

Campers are allowed to sleep overnight in some locations, such as the Lake District and some areas of Dartmoor, but restrictions remain in place in many other areas. 

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