It's always a hot topic when summer swings by.

And nothing irks residents more than visitors camping on beaches overnight - or litter, or bad parking. 

But what are the rules around camping on Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch beaches?

Rules on beach camping

It's pretty simple to be honest.

No overnight sleeping or camping is allowed on the beach, seafront, cliffs or car parks.

BCP Council warn people should be prepared to be disturbed as a 24-hour beach patrol will be repeatedly visiting to gather evidence for prosecution and you could face a £1000 fine. 

Read more: Rules on Bournemouth beaches that all visitors need to know

Has anyone been prosecuted?

Last year we reported that nine people were facing prosecution for camping overnight on the beaches.

We've asked BCP Council for an update on how many people have been successfully prosecuted for overnight camping on beaches in 2020 and 2021. We'll keep you posted on this.

When did the council clamp down?

In May last year, the council announced that they were stepping up patrols of the seafront to crack down on beach campers over the half term break.

Those caught camping overnight on the beachfront risk prosecution and fines of up to £1,000.

The council says that there has always been a camping ban, however the fines and stricter patrols were part of a summer readiness plan to help deal with the surge of visitors last year.

Read more: Top five campsites in Dorset revealed

What's the background?

In the summer of 2020 - 'major incident' summer - thousands of people flocked to beaches across Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch for a break - as foreign holidays were nearly impossible.

One man said he was "verbally abused" by overnight visitors and others expressed their anger and disgust at the rubbish left behind by campers.

Another resident, speaking after a particularly hot weekend in August 2020, said it was "zero-value tourism" with another slamming the behaviour as "an absolute disgrace".