SECURITY guards will patrol Lyme Regis gardens and seafront to tackle anti-social behaviour late at night.
Lyme Regis Town Council has taken the radical action in a bid to prevent groups of people gathering and causing a nuisance to nearby residents.
It comes as Dorset Police has also stepped up patrols to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area and utilised section 35 dispersal powers, meaning they can move on groups of people and have power to make arrests if they return within a set period.
The town council has been working closely and sharing information with Dorset Police as the number of reports has increased in recent weeks.
The security guards will start patrolling on the night of Friday, July 17, focusing on the beach, seafront and gardens but also keeping an eye on other known trouble areas in the town.
The guards will be wearing body cameras and any relevant footage will be passed to police.
Town clerk John Wright said: “The level of anti-social behaviour has now reached such a point that the council decided it needed to take action and employ a security company to support the increased police efforts.
“Not only is the behaviour having a detrimental impact on the lives of residents who live nearby, but it’s also intimidating for people who are passing by and feel they need to avoid an area where a group is gathered.
“As we are now approaching the school summer holidays and the weather is improving, lots of families will be staying on the beach later into the evening and the last thing we want is for people to feel they have to leave because of the behaviour of a minority.
“Hopefully the presence of security guards will not only discourage anti-social behaviour, but also reassure the public that the town remains a safe and welcoming place for both residents and visitors.”
The security guard patrols will be held every night for eight weeks, covering the whole of the summer holidays and costing £1,260 per week, totalling £10,080.
This will come as an unwelcome additional expense at a time when the council is trying to improve its financial outlook, which is currently expecting to lose more than £900,000 in reserves over the next year.