Southsea beach left covered by a sea of litter

WHAT A MESS The rubbish-strewn beach at Southsea
WHAT A MESS The rubbish-strewn beach at Southsea

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DOG walker Matt Hopkins is demanding more on-the-spot fines for litterbugs after coming across this mess on a beach.

He took this picture yesterday while walking his dog Ozzie near the Royal Marines Museum, Eastney.

NOT HAPPY Matt Hopkins and his dog Ozzie

NOT HAPPY Matt Hopkins and his dog Ozzie

The 45-year-old said it is an all-too-regular sight in popular areas of the seafront, particularly after a hot weekend.

While he praises Portsmouth City Council for its fast and efficient clean-up process, he believes more needs to be done to stop litter louts in the first place.

Mr Hopkins of Festing Grove, Southsea, said: ‘It’s disgusting that people would just walk away and leave that.

‘There was a party on at the weekend and they all just got up and left their rubbish on the beach – it happens all the time.

‘I even see people throwing empty coke bottles behind them.’

Having grown up in Texas which ran one of the world’s most successful litter campaigns, Don’t Mess with Texas, Mr Hopkins thinks heavier use of on-the-spot fines and a high-profile campaign is needed to tackle the problem.

‘There needs to be something put in place that will make people more aware of what they are doing,’ said Mr Hopkins, who has lived in Portsmouth for 19 years .

‘It seems like they do it without even realising.

‘And it needs to be something high profile to draw a lot of attention to it, because it has to stop, it’s just awful.’

The council’s seafront manager, David Evans agreed there is a problem with litter. But he said it would be difficult to catch more people in the act of littering.

He said: ‘The council just doesn’t have the resources to patrol the beach looking for litter louts.

‘It’s very difficult to prove that a particular person dropped a particular piece of litter.

‘What we are doing, though, is looking to develop a beach volunteer programme for next summer where people will become beachfront ambassadors.

‘These ambassadors will hand out rubbish bags and encourage people to put them in the bin or leave them in an obvious place for collection. We hope this will encourage people to do more to look after their beach.’