THE NUMBER of fines issued to illegal campers on the beach by BCP police officers in the past week is still not known.
The BCP council said sleeping at night or camping on the beach, seafront, cliffs or car parks was prohibited.
The authority has previously warned that people should be prepared, saying a 24-hour beach patrol will repeatedly visit to collect evidence for prosecution and those who flout the rules could face a fine. £1,000 fine.
However, many more cases have been reported this week.
The Daily Echo has approached the BCP Council on more than one occasion over the number of beach fines issued in recent weeks. No data was provided.
A resident asked “how is this allowed?” after photographing a tent pitched in front of beach huts and lodges between Boscombe and Southbourne – expressing anger at the high cost of beach lodge facilities, only for campers who can pitch for free.
Keith Halifax said: ‘I walk my dog there almost every morning. Some sites are disgusting – rubbish and BBQ’s are all left on the sand despite there being enough bins on the beach front.
“They are popping up everywhere.”
One person replied: ‘A free section for camping on the beach with bins provided by the council is something that should be in place.’
Another said: “I agree with both views, we should be allowed to camp in the wild and the majority are respectful but the minority spoil it – we must continue to encourage accountability and mass shame for waste.”
Although unable to provide statistics, the PCO Board provided a statement to the Echo. Cllr Bobbie Dove, Community Safety and Regulatory Services portfolio holder, said: ‘It was great to see so many visitors come and enjoy our beautiful beaches over the weekend and make the most of the warm weather.
‘Overnight camping on the beach is however not permitted and our security team, who are on hand to combat anti-social behaviour, campfires and camping, were patrolling overnight along the 15 miles of beachfront of sea.
“They will proactively tackle any issues they encounter and anyone caught camping faces prosecution and a £1,000 fine. If members of the public need to report a concern, they can do so on our website at ‘Report a Concern’ (bcpcouncil.gov.uk).
“For anyone visiting Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole and wanting to stay overnight, we have an exceptional selection of local hotels or B&Bs and there are over 100 campsites in Dorset.”