EXTRA signs will be put up along beaches in Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole in a bid to reduce the number of overnight campers.
Concerns have been raised about people pitching tents in recent months and BCP Council said about 100 groups were “moved on” last weekend, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy reporting service.
Leader Cllr Vikki Slade said the scale of the problem had “never been experienced before” and new measures were being introduced in a bid to tackle it.
Since lockdown measures were eased, dozens of reports of people camping on the area’s beaches have been made, particularly during warmer periods.
The council has been criticised for its response to the issue with concerns raised about litter and the difficulty for beach cleaning teams manoeuvring around them.
A meeting with senior council officers and councillors has been held, with new measures to tackle the problem discussed.
“We have never before experienced issues on our beaches in the scale that we’ve experienced this summer,” Cllr Slade said.
“We have a team of security staff who patrol the seafront throughout the night and beach rangers working from the early hours until late into the evening.”
She said they had moved on people camping in around 100 tents so far, and said “a number” of eviction notices had been issued.
Early-morning patrols have also been brought in by the council’s parking enforcement officers to clamp down on those staying in car parks overnight without having paid. Cllr Slade said these would carry on while further measures would also be brought in.
“We have reviewed our approach and agreed that these additional activities will continue throughout the summer as necessary,” she added.
“In addition, we continue to liaise with the police and welcome any additional assistance they are able to provide.
“We will also be advising beachgoers of the risks associated with overnight camping on our beaches and installing further signage.”