Britain

People are stealing sand from beaches and selling it to builders

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A gang of thieves are stealing sand from a beach and then selling it to builders.

The so called grain gangs are using JCB diggers to collect the sand at Hemsby beach on the Norfolk coast.

They are believed to be supplying it on to builders who are creating make-believe beaches in back gardens.

WESSEX NEWS AGENCY Jim Hardy email news@britishnews.co.uk mobile 07501 221880 STORY CATCHLINE: SANDY A seaside council is stepping up security on the beach - because people are nicking the sand! Pic shows Hemsby beach

Hemsby beach on the Norfolk coast (Picture: Wessex News Agency)

Great Yarmouth council has now taken action against the brazen thieves over fears there would be no sand left for visitors to enjoy.

A spokesman said the council has issued a Temporary Stop Notice and anyone ignoring it would be breaking the law and might end up in court.

They confirmed the council had been made aware of the excavation of a significant volume of sand and the relocation of sea defence blocks on Hemsby beach.

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WESSEX NEWS AGENCY Jim Hardy email news@britishnews.co.uk mobile 07501 221880 STORY CATCHLINE: SANDY A seaside council is stepping up security on the beach - because people are nicking the sand! Pic shows Hemsby beach

Sand is apparently being sold to builders (Picture: Wessex News Agency)

Cornwall authorities have already forced a holidaymaker who stole pebbles from a Cornwall beach to return them under the threat of prosecution.

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They apparently made the man, from Crackington Haven, travel hundreds of miles to return the stones.

Removing pebbles from public beaches is illegal under The Coastal Protection Act 1949 and the parish council said visitors caught doing it faced a fine of up to £1,000 for leaving the area exposed to erosion.

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Cornwall Council which owns 57 of the countys beaches said it strongly urged visitors not to remove stones or sand.

A spokesman added: It may seem harmless but given the many thousands of visitors to Cornwalls beaches every year, every stone removed could have an impact on coastal erosion, natural flood defences and wildlife habitats.

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