New ‘beach and coast PSPO’ powers to tackle anti-social behaviour come into force in Thanet on April 1

A Beaches and Coast PSPO is being introduced Photo by Diane Watson

New powers to tackle anti-social behaviour across Thanet will be introduced on Thursday, April 1.

Thanet District Council’s Cabinet has approved a new Beaches and Coast Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) following a public consultation which ran during January and February.

The PSPO will replace previous beach byelaws and it is hoped that the streamlined rules will be easier for people to understand and help protect Thanet’s coastline and award winning beaches.

Previous byelaws had differing levels of fines and did not include power to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs). Under the new order, council and police officers can now issue the fines of £100 to help deter and reduce anti-social behaviour.

A dedicated enforcement officer for the coast is being employed and the isle’s dog warden will have a greater presence on Thanet’s beaches.

A Coastal and Beach ‘Code of Practice’ was also approved which sets out rules for a range of activities around the coast and includes the council having the power to fine people for irresponsible water bike usage.

The Beaches and Coast PSPO prohibits: 

  • Parking/driving on the promenades or beaches without permission
  • Cycling on the promenades between 10am and 6pm from 1 May to 30 September where localised signage requires you to dismount
  • Bonfires, balloon and sky lantern releases on any council land
  • BBQ’s on council land apart from on beaches after 6pm
  • Horse riding on beaches or promenades between 9am and 7pm from 1 May to 30 September (or all year round at Pegwell Bay)
  • Encampments (including tents, campervans, marquees, yurts etc) on beaches, promenades, clifftops, nearby green spaces, car parks and surrounding areas of the public realm without prior consent of the council,with the exception of sun shades.
  • The use of personal powered watercraft (including jet skis) in a manner that poses a risk to the safety of people or wildlife
  • The use of personal powered watercraft(including jet skis) in a manner that has the potential to cause harassment, alarm and distress to any other beach or coast users, or residents
  • Preaching, lectures, music and entertainment or sporting events unless prior permission has been granted by the council
  • Urination, defecation, spitting or littering
  • Drinking alcohol in a public place, after being told not to
  • Ingesting, inhaling, injecting, smoking or otherwise using drugs or substances reasonably believed to be psychoactive substances
  • Possessing or releasing any canister containing compressed gas.

Gavin Waite, Corporate Director – Communities  at Thanet District Council said: “We anticipate an even busier summer than in 2020 and this new Beaches and Coast PSPO is part of our extensive preparations to help ensure residents and visitors Respect, Protect and Enjoy our coastline.

“We listened to the concerns of our residents last year and have come up with a consistent and balanced approach to tackling anti-social behaviour and other undesirable activities.

“We are grateful to everyone who took part in the public consultation. We had 497 responses and the feedback received helped shape and inform the PSPO which will be in place for the next three years, after which time it will be reviewed.”

However, questions have been raised over whether there will be enough enforcement action to make the plans effective.

Barry Manners, from the Friends of Botany Bay and Kingsgate, said: “This is all flap and no propeller if there is no enforcement. It almost looks as though the council is trying to keep residents quiet by fobbing us off and hoping that once the summer is over it all goes quiet again.”

New signs detailing the restrictions will be installed along the coastline. An information leaflet is also being developed.

The Dog Public Spaces Protection Order is also being extended to cover:

Pegwell Bay, specifically the upper chalk shore to protect endangered wildlife.

Humans and dogs interfering with, trapping or attempting to trap or snare or disturb any wildlife on council owned land.

There will be no changes to the current restrictions on Westbrook Bay (dogs on lead between 10am and 6pm from 1 May to 30 September).

More information about the Public Spaces Protection Orders can be found online.


  1. How many enforcement officers are being employed? Good on TDC for these rules but without strict enforcing they are pointless… Tents everywhere in summer some for weeks but never dealt with… Where do they crap ?
    Can hear the jet skis in my garden 200 MTRS from the beach. Etc etc etc.

    • This is TDC all over. Making rules and do nothing to enforce them. What a load of rubbish they are. When are the arrests coming in Thanet and the council put in special measures.

  2. No resources for enforcement makes this pointless. The only time you’ll see resources in any significant number is when there’s a vegan protest about live animal deportations and the hoardes of riot vans at Nethercourt roundabout. So unnecessary and hostile and yet in Ramsgate Central we put up with semi constant anti social behaviour and drug issues.

    Where’s the enforcement?

    The few community officers I see are extremely decent but it isn’t enough.

    Can’t wait for the screaming jet skis to start up, given some bright spark at TDC thought that was a good idea too. Left from the harbour is main dands, right is western undercliff and the SSI.

    Is anything here normal or is that just me?

  3. Wow! Not that this is all new, but the instant ability to fine is. The main issue as I see it, and have been considering for a while now, is even if local people pick up on these regs, how on Earth are visitors supposed to be made aware of them?

        • Is that supposed to be funny? Perhaps you are not aware of the serious problems there are with antisocial behaviour, some of which is downright dangerous.

  4. There was no mention of the use of E-Scooters, which are not Insured – taxed – MOT – Driving under age – without a licence etc.

    • Your right George, all electric scooters are illegal, unless they are being hired from a legitimate source that has them insured! The ones I see and have reported, do not have Indicators, and the rider cannot indicate when they are turning for fear of losing control. They come under the Road Traffic Act, and again this is not being enforced by the Police, who should be confiscating them. The rider must be in possession of a Driving Licence, including Provisional, so that excludes the children I see on them, even going to school! It is illegal to ride them on the pavement! They do not have lights, so its illegal to use them at night! And what are the police doing about these potentially lethal machines, which could seriously injure someone if they run into you at 15mph, absolutely nothing, thats what they are doing, nothing!

      • I think this is a completely different issue I would rather them concentrate on antisocial issues and leave this to the traffic officers

      • Yes Alex, four times! Once in the dark, twice by an idiot in his 20’s I guess, who delights in riding his e scooter on the pavement, and who comes up behind you, brushing you to startle you, laughing when you shout in alarm! Once by a small child possibly 7 or 8, wobbling all over the place on the pavement, close to a busy main road, what were his parents thinking of they were nowhere to be seen! I see a young school boy most mornings on one, and when he inevitably has an accident, who will get the blame?

  5. It’s not going to work because the wardens etc will be overwhelmed with the amount of people / offenders ! Sadly I think the wardens will be on a hiding to nothing ! God help them!

  6. Not a chance of much enforcement if the above quote is correct – “A dedicated enforcement officer for the coast is being employed and the isle’s dog warden will have a greater presence on Thanet’s beaches.”

    It is also essential that TDC provide many more rubbish bins which are emptied frequently during busy periods as so many of the ones near beaches are always overflowing.

    Toilets toilets toilets – Thanet cannot cope with the number of tourists if there are not sufficient facilities for them. Are the ones by Margate Clock Tower going to be open this year? If not, why not? Shame on TDC for not having repaired them when we have known for so long since last year that there will be so many beach visitors with many more people will be taking home holidays rather than travelling abroad.

    And Thanet desperately needs good car parking signage to avoid cars blocking local roads. Why don’t we have signs as you come into Margate giving names to the various car parks, how many spaces are available and precise directions? This is common-place in most other places so why not here?

    These comments are specific to Margate as I live in Cliftonville and this is the area which affects me, but I am sure they also apply to other areas of Thanet – including Westgage, Peter!

  7. Also prohibited-breathing without an oxygen licence, walking, standing still, being outside with less than 50p in your pockets, kissing, holding hands, not saluting the Queen & not clapping in honour of the NHS staff, Captain Tom, Boris & whatever hero of the week is decided upon.

  8. Looking at all that, can you please tell us what we can do… I’m a little confused with what we can’t…:I

  9. Looking again at the Message/Report… I would suggest a 100 strong American style S.W.A.T. organisation be present

  10. If TDC had really listened to the public about the mess, lack of toilets, parking on pavements and bad behaviour on jet skies then they would have done something instead of just giving promises. What use is one coastal officer and asking the dog warden to spend more time on the beach? Once again I can see another season of litterbins overflowing, toilets at the clocktower still closed for third year in a row, jet skies being launched all over the place and racing up and down buzzing around swimmers and interfering with wildlife in an area of SSSI, and vehicles parked all over street corners and pavements causing obstructions to pedestrians while the parking wardens are too busy in the high streets and not employed at weekends or after 6.00pm. People with Camper vans and caravans having free holidays whilst parked up on street along Palm Bay avenue, Margate.
    You can just see that there will be chaos as usual with the odd fine dished out here and there. Is there going to be a dedicated council officer phone number for the seasons issues? Nah probably not! It is not possible to expect people to obey signs and leaflets alone.

    • I own a camper van live in Broadstairs and if I decide to go park up along the prom what is your problem? I have both paid my very expensive council tax, we get stung more in Broadstairs and also my road tax which I believe gives me the right to drive and park on the very roads for which I have paid a lot of money for the privilege.

      • As a matter of fact, no one has paid “road tax” since 1937.
        The upkeep of Kent’s roads are paid for out of local taxes, contributed by everyone, whether they own a camper van or not.

        P.S. I’m the original, proper, bonafide Andrew.

  11. These measures (agree that they are useless without enforcement) are simply a smokescreen to divert attention away from the Council’s appalling mismanagement of our beaches and public spaces in recent years.

    This isn’t going to solve the issue of overflowing bins due to a meltdown of Gavin Waite’s waste and recycling service all year round. Maybe if TDC had actually employed the 10 street cleaners last year that our Council Tax went up to pay for things might have been different. Again, Mr Waite decided not to go ahead with the recruitment and the appalling state of our streets and beaches was the result.

    It’s high time someone addressed the root cause of these issues which is the lack of any sort of competence at the TDC top table and a Cabinet that seems unable and unwilling to challenge this. Addressing the consequences is purely a smokescreen.

    • I think you’ll find that the “root cause” of the jetski nuisance has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with TDC’s management.
      Unless, of course, they’re all jet skiers.

      • To be honest I was completely disregarding the bit about jetskis. Unless TDC are intending to hire a David Hasselhoff of their own to get after them in a TDC jetski then it isn’t even worth mentioning. If a jetski rider wants to be a nuisance and breach this new code there is absolutely nothing TDC can do about it.

        • As a Ramsgate resident and frequent (in summer) swimmer, I think jetskis should be banned from all town beaches.

          I would like to thank all the councillors who have taken the safety of swimmers into account in their responses to the new PSPO and spoken against the encroachment of these potentially lethal things into what should be a safe place to swim.

          • I agree with you Marva but was just making the point that it is pretty much impossible to police and enforce. If a jet ski rider is encroaching and making a nuisance of him or her self then there is nothing that TDC can do unless they are going to invest in a jet ski themselves for their one enforcement officer and head out to sea and take their details down.

        • I think the plan is to physically limit the places they can launch from. They’ve got to come ashore at some point. With few locations, it would be easier to track and trace errant jet skiers and welcome them ashore with a £100 fine.

  12. Totally agree with Kent resident and Thanetian blind all talk but no way of enforcement by TDC. So much money granted to Thanet yet not a penny spend well, all lost in paperwork and very bad management. When will us locals learn ?????, TDC needs top bods to be sacked and new fresh local people with brains to be elected, but they also must be held accountable for their decision, only fair

  13. We have had most of this nonsense in the past.

    TDC has had an event policy for years that prevents large groups holding parties on the beach without permission. However, when two or three dozen coaches turn up at the weekend and unload mobile discos, petrol generators, barbecues, deep fat fryers, tents, tables and chairs – along with all their own food and alcohol – nobody does anything about it.

    Let’s just hope that TDC has staff on duty each and every weekend from 1 April to ensure the rules are enforced.

  14. Can I lick an ice cream sitting in a deckchair on the beach with my grandchildren without getting £100 fine?. I would be a much softer target for the beach inspectors than them trying to stop gangs of yobs or jet nutters.


    • A sort of chocolate biscuit?
      Nails you stick in your boots?
      The place you put the kettle on the kitchen range?

      • Marva , Phyllis- Albert shouted in text – his opinions & rights to air them are the same as yours. Be kind , Text / spelling errors happen – we cannot be all such intellectuals and so apparently humorous as some.
        Gangs of ASBO yobs , both young and old ( locals and visitors ) can quickly spoil the area and dominate it at the best of times – this summer – enforce what you preach TDC –
        Provide bins for rubbish( & empty them) , provide lavatories ( clean, maintain , ) charge for parking – re- direct if areas full , dogs on leads ( the oh my dog always comes back brigade , usually are miles away from their dog/s , messing or bothering others sometimes on phone -their dogs more than not do not have recall )jet ski restrictions . Persistently enforce standards – then just may some of the visitors and locals not pass through like a hoard of locusts ,littering , fighting , bothering others with their music , jet skis killing swimmers etc etc Thankfully we have the RNLI – there appears to be less and less knowledge of how dangerous the sea is .

        • It didn’t occur to me that it might be a misprint for “yobs”, I just thought it was a usage I didn’t know.

  16. Phyllis- Albert Edwards is obviously not using the word in any of the meanings you give. (Are Hobs smaller than Hobnobs?) The only other meaning I know is a short form of hobgoblin.

  17. Fingers crossed they employ folk to police this and not farm it out to the private sector which has a habit of dishing out fines to soft targets for maximum profit rather than deal with the harsher breaches.

  18. If you don’t want people urinating in any other place than a public toilet I damn well suggest that you open them. I did a walk from Minnis Bay to Westbrook and there was only one toilet open when there could have been four. Some people have weak bladders. SO WHY SHOULD THEY PEE THEIR PANTS because of council incompetence

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