Police lead multi-agency operation to protect seals and marine life

Officers from the Rural Task Force led the operation Image Kent Police

A multi-agency operation led by Kent Police has been carried out in the Pegwell Bay area in a bid to protect seals and other wildlife from being disturbed.

Last Sunday (August 6) officers from the Rural Task Force were monitoring the area following reports that vessels and jetbikes had disrupted the marine animals who inhabit the location by the mouth of the River Stour.

Using their drone to monitor from above, the officers worked together with Thanet District Council enforcement officers, Kent Wildlife Trust and the Harbour Master for Sandwich to ensure the animals’ habitats were left free from harm.

Seals at Pegwell Bay Photo Martyn Smith

PCSOs from the Rural Task Force Team have been visiting sites in Sandwich and Thanet to try and educate users of jetbikes about the importance of responsible use.

As the area falls under a Public Space Protection Order, anyone found riding them in a way that poses a risk to wildlife can face a fine.

People can also receive a Community Protection Warning, and if they continue to offend, can result in the person being arrested.

Photo John Wilson

Sergeant Darren Walshaw of Kent Police’s Rural Task Force said: “Kent has a stunning shoreline in which protected species of birds and marine mammals thrive. We want everyone to enjoy Kent’s coast whilst ensuring that the natural habitat of these animals is respected.

“The most important thing people can do is keep their distance, from all marine mammals and seabirds. These species are sensitive to disturbance so if you come into contact with them, move away quietly.

“Those using boats or jet skis are asked to travel at a no-wake speed of under 5mph when near the cliffs and if you see groups of birds or colony of seals, slow down and go around them.”


  1. Truly mind boggling use of Council Tax payer’s money.
    We never see Vera or Endeavour out protecting wildlife.🙄

  2. I think you will find that Vera and Endeavour are fictional TV characters. Not like real Police Officers who have a range of tasks. Not just waiting until a difficult murder case crops up.
    Discouraging anti-social behaviour seems to be just the kind of work I would like them to do.
    I can t imagine that the kind of person who roars around on jet skis breaking speed limits along the Stour indifferent to disturbance to the seals and birds would suddenly become responsible citizens when out in their cars.

  3. I’d be really really pleased if as much effort was put into protecting human life from these things.
    Year after year jet skis menace folk bathing from Ramsgate’s Main Sands.
    Year after year reports (often with photographic evidence) is emailed in to TDC. And year after year nothing whatsoever is done.
    We were promised a line of yellow buoys to set up a delineation between where jet skis could go, and where they mustn’t. For a few months, a couple of. Uoys bobbed up and down opposite the Lifeguard hut. Then they disappeared. Sunk without trace, I assume.
    Really, really great that a multi agency approach is being taken to look after wildlife.
    Let’s see the same wrt human beings.

  4. Morons the wildlife needs protecting ban jet skis in the areas were breading and seals are present in these months we don’t need any more pollution and deaths to animal for a bit of fun water motorbikes

  5. No mention of how many people they caught, spotted or spoke to though…… The weather wasn’t that great on that day from what I recall….. Try going on a hot day when these people are actually causing stress to the wildlife….. They may have a more productive day dealing with these mindless people.

  6. Lawlessness is rife not just in Thanet, but just about everywhere, nothing is being done about e-scooters, which I have personally been attacked by on numerous occasions! Just recently I saw a grown man on an e-scooter with a child of about 7 or 8 wobbling about! And another grown man who was texting as he was riding along Ramsgate High Street! If someone had walked out into the road he would have had no means of braking, and nine of them are insured! If any of them hit me at my age, and with multiple disabilities, the least I could expect is serious injury, possibly death! Yet the police take no action and all of them are illegal in Thanet anyway!

  7. That’s very admirable and worth doing, however, they should try policing the streets, the sea fronts, high streets just out of town pubs at night and know hotshots, I witness a lot going on specially round St Lawrence pubs, Newington, and top of high street,not to mention parts of Broadstairs and much of Margate and Cliftonville, so when they can prove they have that under control, show a presence and deal with issues, promptly, then they can concern themselves with pigeons, Seals, and the tufty club.

  8. Like I say, the kind of people who are reckless around animals and wildlife are precisely the kind of people who are indifferent to the rights of other human beings.
    Police attention to whoever might disturb seals and sea birds will not be a wasted effort.

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