Beach security patrols to be brought in at Viking Bay and other Broadstairs spots

Viking Bay is one of the affected beaches - the other is Fulsam Rock

Beach security patrols are to be trialled at Viking Bay and other Broadstairs’ beaches.

The decision has been prompted by antisocial behaviour such as the beach brawl that broke out on Viking Bay over the May bank holiday.

Following similar schemes already undertaken in Southend and other coastal resorts across the UK, members of Broadstairs & St. Peter’s Town Council have agreed to fund the trial over the coming weeks, centred around Viking Bay, but also covering all the bays and beaches in the CT10 postcode area.

The major beaches and bays will be patrolled by private security guards, whose main role will be to ensure social distancing, prevent anti-social behaviour and provide a physical presence on the beach

The measures were agreed at the town council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on May 27.

It will be part-funded through the Town Council’s grant budget, money that was previously earmarked for events in Broadstairs which can no longer go ahead, and also out of the town-wide improvement budget. If the trial is deemed a success and is well received by the community, the Town Council will consider extending the scheme over the summer.

Local firms Marc-One and Probe Security will provide the patrols, also resulting in a boost to Thanet employment.

Cllr Rosalind Binks, Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee, said: “The fine weather will undoubtedly bring many visitors to the town in the next few weeks. Residents have shown remarkable resolve in following social distancing rules during the lockdown and the Town Council is determined to do everything in its power to ensure that both residents and visitors can enjoy our beautiful beaches as safely as possible.”

Danielle Dunn, Town Clerk, Broadstairs & St. Peter’s Town Council, added: “The Town Council has been discussing utilising beach security for a while, especially after private security has been successfully used around Pierremont Hall, a previous hotspot for anti-social behaviour in Broadstairs.

“Following the well-reported incident which occurred at Viking Bay over the Bank Holiday and the rules relating to the Covid-19 outbreak, it seemed a prime opportunity to trial a beach security scheme and see if it will benefit the community at large.”

When visiting the beaches:

Viking Bay Photo Brian Whitehead

Be responsible and respect other people’s personal space keeping a 2m distance.

If you do have symptoms or feel unwell, please stay at home and self isolate.

When parking please observe parking restrictions and leave enough room for emergency vehicles to get through.

TDC have increased street cleaning services and put 200 extra bins in key locations. If you cannot find a bin, please take your rubbish home. #onlyleavefootprints

25 Comments

  1. Excellent news! So glad someone is doing something about this appalling behaviour at this unprecedented time. How dare they ruin our little piece of heaven. Well done to all concerned.

  2. Seriously!! I get that something needs to be done, but employing bouncers because the pubs and clubs are closed cant be the answer, they cause more trouble than worth with the attitude they have

  3. Very interesting concept but can someone explain what legal powers their staff will have to enforce social distancing, deal with antisocial problems etc? They’re not police officers or TDC staff and the beach is an open area where anyone can go. It’s not a pub or club.

    An example. A group of people on the beach aren’t respecting social distancing and are getting loud and abusive after a few hours of drinking. What are these security firms actually going to be able to do about it?

    • They are working on behalf of Broadstairs and St Peters Town Council They can gather evidence,monitor and advise people. The Chief constable can give special powers under the Community Safety Scheme. The town council are working with the police and have been working on this for over a year. At least they are doing something about it

    • As a security officer I agree with you. We have no powers to enforce Social Distancing, we are not trained as Lifeguards should something happen.
      So what can the solution be…cameras scanning beach and monitored by 2/3 CCTV then they call police

      • The police have no powers to enforce social distancing either. The Kent Police follow the 4 E’s – Engage, Explain, Encourage and, as a last resort, Enforce. It is not part of the security teams remit to act as lifeguards – who are provided anyway at Viking Bay.

  4. Maybe if they could stop people bringing alcohol on the beach it would help. I have seen more and more people arriving with huge cool boxes filled with bottles and cans of booze. If this was stopped it may stop the anti social behaviour and the litter left.

  5. Security patrols ??. We already have a group of them they are called the POLICE !!! What is needed is a good PA system and regular police patrols or a static police outlook for the police to observe each of the main beaches .
    There are Special Constables who could help to supplement the police cover for this. Specials have all the same arrests powers and training as regular officers. Most residents want to improve the area and keep crime down, if they are able they should apply to join the specials or at least help the police with any information on any suspicious behaviour in general.

  6. Social distancing isn’t law and relies on the public’s cooperation. This is why on trains and buses it hasn’t been imposed. To put it quite simply it can’t be imposed. Antisocial behaviour that’s a different matter there are laws that cover that. Why do you think the government included the words: where possible. Social distancing where possible. Being less than 2m is far less dangerous on a beach than on a train I’m sure. We are contradicting ourselves either it applies in all public spaces, especially inside or it doesn’t.

  7. If they can afford security staff then why don’t they recruit more Police staff instead. Regular policing of the beaches and area around them has been lacking for some time now. A police presence does not have to be intimidating but can serve as a warning. Also, these people, police or securitu staff needcto be more approachable, more freindly.

    • Broadstairs and St Peters council do not employ police, the government does. So private security is the next best option.

  8. I am curious as to which legal powers exactly will be used here. The beach is a public place. Private security enjoy no special powers in this country and are effectively private citizens. Beyond costing public money, which the council could have spent by funding extra police officers, which do have some powers in public places, I fail to see what this achieves.

    • That’s the point I was trying to make. If all they can do is monitor and report then what’s the point? I do, however, like the idea of an alcohol ban on the beach itself. Given most if not all of the trouble seems to be alcohol related, it will make these beaches quite unattractive to those travelling down in large groups who just want to get wasted and cause problems.

      • The Police already have the power to create and enforce alcohol control zones where consumption in a public place becomes an offence. They also have the power in conjunction with local authorities to create Public Space Protection orders. They can also deal with the offence of Drunk and Disorderly and Public order act offences. The council have the power to deal with littering. Surely these existing approaches should have been tried before rushing out to give public money to a private business? A police constable has two years of training. A SIA security guard has less than two days with a multiple choice test at the end.

  9. If they have anyone other than the police it will cause problems, it is NOT the role of jobs worth security guards . The same council will be begging the government for more money having wasted taxpayers money on security guards who are unfit for the job. It’s not an easy thing for the police to manage let alone security guards. Mad wasteful idea.

  10. Why do we need security ppl in our beaches? Why can’t the police constable officers do that, the ones with the blue ribbon on their hats…. what is the actually Police Force Officers doing now?… we pay taxes to our police constabulary … so where are they? Not enough crime around but ppl really pissed off!,,

  11. The anti-social behaviour, especially during Folk week etc, and large groups of foreign students blocking the pavement, were what made me move out of Broadstairs some 9 years ago! I fail to understand how private security guards will be able to break up the mass brawl the weekend before last, of about 20 young men and WOMEN! There was lots of blood and snot flying around, by the looks of things, probably infectious!

    • The police arrest the junkies and piss heads but the courts then let them off with pathetic sentencing or throw it out of court with no charges.

      The police are unfortunately fighting a losing battle on two fronts, first society is getting more aggressive and are no longer afraid of the police and secondly the liberal courts undermine the good work the police do. In effect the police are forced to police with kid gloves and one hand tied behind their back.

  12. Absolutely need something atm as many visitors are flouting the bylaws such as no barbeques before 6 and no diving or swimming in bathing pool seen today on Margate Main Sands..no lifeguards as yet giving loudspeaker announcements ..joined up thinking needed when beach so busy due to premature summer hols!

  13. Here’s another good idea worth thinking about generally in Thanet. Bexley Council have announced today:

    This week (1 June) will see the return of litter enforcement across the borough. On the spot fixed penalty notices of £150 will be issued to anyone caught littering or not clearing up after their dogs.

    Cabinet Member for Places, Cllr Peter Craske said: “We are proud of our borough, particularly our wonderful parks and open spaces. The recent changes to the social distancing guidelines mean that more people are using them safely, which is great. What isn’t great news is the mess that some people are leaving behind.

    “Littering, dog fouling and fly tipping anywhere in a public place are all criminal offences. If you get a fine you will be out of pocket and you could get a record. Our message is clear: Residents back our zero tolerance of littering so clean up your mess or you will be fined.”

    • They did have that scheme in Thanet. Heralded as being tough on litter and dog fouling.

      The reality was sneaky officers catching people dropping cigarette butts in Margate Town centre. Easy to get contract money with that tactic. Did absolutely nothing to stop the Thanet-wide litter and dog fouling issues.

  14. So I am sitting on the beach with my young family, were bouncers are need to keep the beach safe. That would be my last visit to that beach, or indeed the area.

    If a beach needs security guards than it’s not a place I will take a young family. I have never been on any beach in this country where you need security guards. I would say if this gets into the main stream press it will put alot of people coming to broadstairs and thanet

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