Police crack down on Armier sunbed operators

Officers are understood to have collected and taken away a substantial number of deckchairs and umbrellas in an operation that began at 5 am and continued for a number of hours.

Police have confiscated a number of sunbeds and umbrellas taking up space at Armier and Little Armier
Police have confiscated a number of sunbeds and umbrellas taking up space at Armier and Little Armier

Police have cleared Armier bay of deckchairs and umbrellas in a surprise raid on the popular beach today.

Officers are understood to have collected and taken away five truckloads of deckchairs and umbrellas in an operation that began at 5 am and continued for a number of hours.

Bathers at Armier and Little Armier told Maltese-language newspaper Illum that police officers had collected many of the sunbeds and umbrellas belonging to Palm Beach, Victoria, and Ray's Lido, loaded them onto trucks and taken them away.

The operation, which cleared the 20 metres of beach closest to the sea was an initiative by the Malta Tourism Authority, carried out in cooperation with the Lands Department, as the beach concessions operate on public land. The MTA said they had asked the police to assist in the operation.

In a joint statement the Malta Tourism Authority and the Lands Authority said the operators of establishments who managed the beach concessions had been “informed on previous occasions that they were not operating in accordance with the permit terms and were advised to comply. They were also warned that action would be taken if such non compliance persisted.”

“This joint action is part of the ongoing drive aimed at ensuring that regulations are respected in full. This should send a clear signal that the authorities are taking this matter seriously and that further abuse will not be tolerated.”

In a statement issued before news of the raids broke on Saturday, activists from Kamp Emergenza Ambjent had warned that it would be taking direct action against seaside operators who illegally occupy the foreshore with sunbeds and umbrellas, arguing that “it is very unjust that a few private companies are making huge profits at the expense of the rest of the population from places that are supposed to be accessed and enjoyed by everyone.”

KEA had called on the deckchair and sunbed operators to immediately halt the takeover of public beaches, calling on the authorities to ensure that the public's right to enjoy these beaches is restored.

 

 

 

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