INDECENT sexual behaviour, defecating in public, and drug abuse are all rife in the Royal Pavilion Gardens.

A list of 20,000 crimes and anti-social behaviour incidents at the beauty spot in the centre of Brighton has been seen by The Argus after the city council revealed the total figure.

The council log includes 161 incidents of drug taking, 21 needles found, 45 incidents of indecent sexual behaviour and 5,356 instances of urinating or defecating in public.

Brighton and Hove City Council opened a public consultation on the future of the gardens after they were put on Historic England’s “At Risk” register.

Raising the possibility of fencing off the gardens and close them at night, a spokesman said that in 2017, “security staff recorded more than 20,000 incidents of antisocial or criminal behaviour in the garden overnight”.

One trader was sceptical about the statistics. They are not shown on police crime map data.

The total figure would imply an incident took place on average every 15 minutes between 8pm and 8am on every single night of the year.

The list also includes the more baffling figures of 3,096 'cyclists', 6,661 people drinking alcohol, 3,260 people ‘moved away from the building’ and 1,895 ‘people in conservation area’.

David Sewell, whose family has owned and run the Pavilion Garden Cafe for 77 years, said: “A few ladies sharing a bottle of wine is not what most people mean by anti-social behaviour.

“The truth is following their idea to put a fence around the estate, this is just frightening the public into thinking it’s worse than it is.”

A council spokesman said: “The council has reported all criminal incidents in the Royal Pavilion Garden to the police.

"These have included arson, fights and broken windows to the buildings. The Royal Pavilion and Museums have separately recorded all instances of antisocial behaviour in the Garden including any behaviour that contravenes Garden bylaws.”

Sussex Police has not confirmed which of these figures have been reported to the force, but a spokeswoman confirmed drinking, drugs, defecation and public sex would all fit their definition of anti-social behaviour.

For August 2017, the crime map for the area including the Gardens says there were 90 incidents of anti-social behaviour.

But in the same month the council recorded 801 incidents of public urination or defecation in the Gardens, and 945 of public drinking.