New signs targeting anti-social behaviour have been installed across Thanet.
Five designs have been created for the signs which highlight the Public Space Protection Orders which were agreed by Thanet council Cabinet members in August.
The PSPOs were approved by councillors following hundreds of complaints and enforcement action against people spitting, urinating and defecating in public areas as well as jumping between buildings.
The orders cover Margate Central and Central Harbour in Ramsgate and parts of Eastcliff in Ramsgate and Cliftonville West.
The signs cover a range of acts, from campervan parking in restricted areas to spitting and urinating in public.
One sign also shows a tent which has raised criticism on social media that the council is targeting people who are rough sleeping.
Thanet council says this is not the case and the signs are aimed at ‘ninja camping’ where people pitch up tents overnight on public land for recreational use.
A council spokesperson said: “Signs which include a picture of a tent are aimed specifically at people who choose to camp overnight on beaches or public land and crucially, who cause disruptive behaviour – often referred to as ninja camping.
“Council officers or police who come across people who are homeless, and/or living in tents and not committing anti-social behaviour will be referred to the council’s RISE multi-agency team who support rough sleepers in the district. Anyone who commits anti-social behaviour – in particular those using drugs on our beaches, or in our parks and open spaces will face enforcement action.”
The signs have been installed in areas according to the frequency of anti-social behaviour reports to both police and the council’s Community Safety Team who deal with issues such as drinking alcohol, using abusive or foul language, urinating or spitting in public.
The council spokesperson added: “The new signs provide information to the public that if any of this behaviour is witnessed by police or council officers, they will risk being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for £100 if they fail to adhere to warnings.”
What the PSPO covers:
The PSPO will prohibit congregating as part of a group of 2 or more for such duration as specified, when directed not to do so by an authorised officer; on the basis that the behaviour is causing or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to others in the locality.
It will prohibit misusing any public space, facility or installation; when directed not to do so by an authorised officer and that the behaviour is causing or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to others in the locality.
It will prohibit anyone from causing an obstruction, nuisance or annoyance to customers, staff or members of the public accessing or leaving commercial premises.
This includes deliberately obstructing any access or egress points, so as to potentially make access to or exit from a commercial premise more difficult.
Commercial premises includes but is not limited to licensed food premises, supermarkets, independent retailers, market traders and convenience stores.
All persons are prohibited from using foul or abusive language in such a manner that it is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any other person in any public place.
All persons are prohibited from excreting bodily fluids, including but not limited to urinating, defecating or spitting in any public place that is not a specified toilet facility.