CIVIC chiefs have warned litterbugs face being hit in the pocket – after a staggering 20 tonnes of litter had to be cleared from the conurbation’s beaches at the weekend.

Thousands of day-trippers were accused of causing chaotic scenes across Dorset’s beauty spots and beaches as temperatures soared across the south.

Yesterday, BCP Council told the Daily Echo an estimated 20 tonnes of litter was removed by its seafront teams on Saturday and Sunday.

The council now says its community safety officers can now issue fixed penalty notices to anyone caught littering.

However, Sandy Morris, who lives in Friars Cliff, noticed a stack of plastic rubbish bags left on Highcliffe beach last week after bins were removed. She said: “The council has removed some of the bins in the area, especially the dog waste bins, and this creates a problem as people leave their waste where the bin used to be.

“I can’t really see why some bins would be removed. It makes no sense, especially near the sea where it can be washed in and cause wildlife danger. During full lockdown we saw police patrols daily but now they have disappeared. Where have they all gone?”

The lack of bins or, bins brimming with rubbish, have led to people stacking up rubbish bags.

Similar piles of rubbish have also been seen along the Bournemouth seafront, as well as in parks across the conurbation.

Christchurch resident Mark Feord added: “There are no bins at Highcliffe Beach, so people have to leave rubbish in carrier bags just ready to blow back into the sea. Absolutely shameful on who is responsible for this in the council."

Cllr Felicity Rice, cabinet member for environment and climate change, has said that the rise in litter is putting additional pressure on council staff, who are “doing their utmost” to keep the conurbation free from litter.

She added: “Our beach team operate from first light until early afternoon to clear our beaches and empty the bins, while the parks team have adjusted their collection frequencies and resources to reflect this unexpected rise in demand.

“Our community safety accreditation scheme officers have recently been given new powers to deal with littering and can issue people with a fixed penalty notice if anyone is caught littering. We continue to ask everyone enjoying our beautiful area to be responsible and take your litter home with you.”