Should people in Suffolk be fined £80 for feeding seagulls?

Should people be fined for feeding gulls?

Should people be fined for feeding gulls? - Credit:

A Harris hawk and kestrel have been brought in to frighten them away in Lowestoft.

But East Devon District Council has gone one step further by banning the feeding of seagulls on or near the town’s beaches.

People face £80 fines or even a court appearance if they are caught feeding the birds as an attempt to control seagulls which have caused problems with dive-bombing and sandwich-stealing.

The council is believed to be the first in the country to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order to tackle the menace.

Other authorities may soon follow suit with West Dorset council holding a consultation on introducing the same order.

It comes a few weeks after Lowestoft Vision introduced a hawk and falcon to contain the gulls.

The organisation, which is part of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Lowestoft and Waveney, took professional advice from Natural England and the RSPB in recent months to develop a scheme over the winter.

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While seagulls are seen as welcome residents in a traditional seaside town, the increase in population has seen a rise in complaints from shoppers which includes reports of food items being snatched and people feeling intimidated by them.