York & North Yorkshire

Scarborough Council approves plans to tackle 'gull muggings'

Seagull eating a chip Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Scarborough Council will encourage the public to report incidents of "gull mugging"

The number of "gull muggings" in Scarborough could be about to be reduced as the town council introduces new measures to tackle the problem.

The local authority is planning to spend up to £15,000 on the scheme which could see "no bird feeding" messages added to the lids of chip boxes.

Other recommendations include introducing gull proof waste bags and modifying the openings on waste bins.

More than 500 people responded to a public consultation on the issue.

Other recommendations in a report include trying to detract gulls from nesting on buildings by installing netting on them.

Herring gulls were identified as the main problem in the area due to their noise and droppings, as well as the bird's habit of pestering people for their food.

"One witness described a man falling off his bike as a result of a gull mugging," the report said.

The report did not recommend the introduction of bylaws banning the public from feeding the birds but instead proposed the introduction of an education and poster campaign.

Culling the birds was also discounted due to the birds' protected status and the limited effect it would have on reducing numbers.

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