Officials have removed a “tent city” from Brighton seafront this morning.

Brighton and Hove City Council staff “dragged” whole tents, bin bags and carpets and then dumped the items into the back of their vans.

There have been complaints about the encampment, which has been on Brighton seafront near the bandstand since mid-August.

Drug taking, defecation and fighting were said to have taken place, according to people living nearby.

The Argus: A council officer loads bin bags into a vanA council officer loads bin bags into a van (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

The encampment was said to be growing but the council has now taken action.

One bystander at the scene this morning said: “There were five or so council officers throwing away the tents and items including plastic bin bags, bottles of drink and carpets.

“Officers have been working fast carrying tents and dropping them into the van. People came over to see and appeared quite relieved. Some people said it was their favourite spot on the seafront.

“No tent residents were there when they were being removed. One person came and took a bike away and one person was taking their belongings from a tent. Council officers dragged the tent from the beach to those caged vans. The beach is now empty.”

The Argus: Removing tents and belongings from the beachRemoving tents and belongings from the beach (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

One beachgoer told The Argus last month: “I’ve been going to that spot for over ten years and now it's ruined.

She said people are "defecating up the wall and there are at least 20 different men coming and going.

“One woman told me that she saw a girl who had her trousers down and was injecting into her groin before 5pm.

“They are so brazen and showing such disrespect. It's coming to the point where I’m not going to be able to go down at all.”

The council gave occupants two days to leave on September 13, but on Monday morning, September 18, the tents still remained.

Officials said it was not a straightforward process to remove the tents and their occupants from the beach and surrounding areas.

A community protection notice, a legal enforcement power the council has, was served on the encampment meaning it could be removed.

The council has been approached for comment.