Thanet council traces group responsible for shocking tide of litter on Margate main sands

The massive amount of litter left behind Photo Frank Leppard

Thanet council enforcement officers have identified the group responsible for leaving a mountain of litter on Margate Main Sands on July 27.

The mess left behind was shocking and images taken by isle photographer Frank Leppard went viral with a facebook reach of more than one million.

The mountains of rubbish, including bottles, disposable plates and cups,discarded wrappings,buckets and even broken tents, came just two days after council workers had to clear a similar scene of litter. There was also evidence of black bin bags.

Photo Frank Leppard

During the clean up council workers removed six gazebos from Margate Main Sands, filled one seven-and-a-half tonne vehicle full of litter and the beach cleaners collected about 75 bags of rubbish. All the bins along the promenade filled a seven-and-a-half tonne waste vehicle twice over and a four-and-a-half tonne mechanical sweeper used along the seafront first thing was also filled up. The tractor used to rake the sand collected a further tonne of rubbish.

Clean up staff Photo John Horton

Thanet enforcement officers reviewed extensive CCTV footage and used online open source intelligence to successfully identify the group responsible.

In a statement online the authority said: “This particular group who visited the beach that day used the location to host an organised event and sold tickets via online community platforms. However, they had not notified our events team and therefore had not gone through any events process or obtained any approval to use the beach in this way. Another group who were also on the beach did follow this process and had obtained the appropriate approval.

“By undertaking significant investigative work and in partnership with the coach companies who brought the group to the area, we have since been able to trace the organisers. These individuals have been issued with a Community Protection Warning Notice. Intelligence will also be shared with relevant partner agencies in London and Essex.

Photo Jackie Chapman

“The warning ensures that if the organisers of the group intend to return to Thanet to host another event, that they must receive permission from Thanet District Council to do so, and adhere to our events procedure. It also incorporates actions to protect the coach companies from anti-social behaviour, which they and their drivers experienced two weeks ago.

“Failure to comply results in a Community Protection Notice (CPN) which is intended to deal with unreasonable, ongoing problems or persistent anti-social behaviour which negatively affect the community’s quality of life by targeting the person or persons responsible. Failure to comply with the CPN can lead to a fixed penalty notice, remedial action or a court order.”

One coach company told The Isle of Thanet News that their vehicle was trashed, with the driver spending two hours trying to get it clean.

How we want to see our beaches Photo John Horton

The Thanet council statement adds: “We want to send a strong message to those responsible that this behaviour was and will always be unacceptable. Being able to identify the group and take the legal action available, is a positive step to ensure this does not happen again. We do not ever want others to experience such a shocking disregard for our beaches in the future.”


  1. I read all the way through the article trying to find out who this group was! OK, it’s not correct to give names etc if a Court case is planned. We should not prejudice any outcome etc.

    But , still, roughly, what was the nature of this organised group? Music fans? Sporting teams? 1940s revivalists wanting to recreate a Blitz scene?OAPs? Stamp collectors? Sea gull enthusiasts? Who DOES this sort of thing?

  2. Keefogs they plan to come to the beach from London and normally it’s a bbq music. London communities have every right to come here or are you suggesting that you have londoners banned. Our streets are dirty and no public toilets ain’t no welcome. Probably a church community group…

    • Rebecca, Why probably a church community group? You have evidence to back up your ‘probably’, I assume.

    • Rebecca – London communities do not have any right to come to Margate and trash the beach.

      If they want to come they have to seek TDC’s consent and pay for the privilege and abide by some rules.

      If you are so keen to have them – you can invite them round to your house and you can clear up the mess . . .

    • Now that I agree with. Personally I would fine them for the cost of cleanup, which is paid by the council tax payers of TDC and ban the group from ever holding any events in Margate. No one should have to warn anyone else to return the space they’ve use to state in which they found it in. Where is the respect for others? #banthemforlife.

  3. We have travellers on our doorstep dumping waste yet nothing is done.
    Why not sort that out instead? Why don’t the police act? Are they scared of being accused of discrimination?

    • We have house/flat dwellers over filling their bins in Harold Rd, Athelstan Rd, Oxford St amongst others. Yes the travellers leave sh*t but look closer at your neighbours. Pot bloody kettle.

  4. “The warning ensures that if the organisers of the group intend to return to Thanet to host another event, that they must receive permission from Thanet District Council to do so, and adhere to our events procedure.”

    All the money spent on the clean up operation, not to mention the investigation to find the culprits and a warning is the deterrent? Why are we so afraid to issue real punishments for inconsiderate actions like this? They profit and we made a loss. Shouldn’t their gains be going towards correcting the situation

  5. These people came to our beaches because it’s a beautiful place to be and disrespected it a few years ago it was parking on the main drag
    As a local if you acted this way you would be prosecuted
    I know it would be hard for the police and bad for our welcoming image but we need to be strong on this

  6. So are they all going to be fined for the mess????. Or is Thanet council just going to let them all off with a don’t do it again letter????. Like the traveller’s just wasting tax’s payer’s money on people who don’t care what they do or leave behind them.

  7. Well i saw the group involved on the Saturday and could say who it was..but would no doubt be accused of being non PC..however i do feel a local authority should not be afraid to name and shame…then maybe we could get an apology from the party involved?

  8. Any coach parties arriving for the use of our beaches/park’s etc should have to register with the local council’s. They should have evidence of council’s approval too.
    This would ensure that they are traceable.
    No approval then sorry Hop back on your coach and have a nice day.
    Note I used the term council’s (plural). This would ensure that they don’t just jump back on board and drive to the next beach.
    Come by all means but, please leave no mess behind you.

  9. I hope the cost of the clean up was sent to the organisers. If they don’t pay then name and shame and the coach operators should do the same they won’t want their vehicles trashed in the same way Thanet doesn’t want its beaches trashed. Shocking disgusting behaviour of humans.

  10. If you drop a piece of litter or a cigarette Butt you receive a heavy fine why we’re this group not approached at the time I was there myself and we all Know why this Group were not approached as stated in previous comments this would be seen as racist non pc ?? Thanet council need the funds so why no fines and the cost of clean up passed to tax payers and not passed on to the known Group and this is not the 1st Time it’s just it has now been put in the media .

  11. This sure is a good way to spend taxes. All the effort put in to give a slap on the wrist.

    TDC is an absolute joke. Sure glad we all pay to tidy up after disrespectful DFLs.

  12. Free tattoos for anybody caught littering and free tatooing classes for anybody found drunk and disorderly. The problems solve themselves.

  13. The travellers leave a mess TDC know who they are and never charge them for the clear up.
    The beach goers leave a mess TDC know who they are and never charge them for the clear up…..theres a pattern here. TDC about as much use as a chocolate tea pot !

  14. Why do you presume that the people leaving a mess are DFLs? Remember that a lot of them live down here now and don’t like this mess. h and by the way how long do you have to live down here before you stop being called a DFL?

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