Spanish resort fines 'beach hoggers' who leave towels out to reserve best spots
A Spanish resort is fining tourists who reserve their sunbathing spot by putting towels on the sand.
Torrox on the Costa del Sol has a new beach police patrol that will confiscate property left on the beach.
Owners can only reclaim their items by paying a fee of 30 euros (£21).
"We don't want to start naming the country whose tourists are most guilty of this beach land-grabbing, but I think we can all guess who they are," said a Torrox council spokesman.
"It is infuriating to arrive at the beach and find all the space taken by towels and umbrellas, but hardly any people.
"Our new policy seems to having the desired effect, and as a result there is less wasted space space on the beach and more room for everyone."
The bylaw which allows police to confiscate towels and other items was introduced last year, but only around a dozen lots of beach gear were confiscated in August and September 2014.
So far this year more than 30 seizures have been made.
Ferrara beach in Torrox is being targeted because it's so narrow compared to other resorts and there's not a lot of space with towels, umbrellas and even tables left on the sand.
The Diario Sur newspaper reports that just over half of the people who've had gear removed have gone back to collect it within the fortnight it's kept before being destroyed.
Leaflets are also being handed out to tourists with information on other new rules being brought in.
They include ways to keep beaches clean, what to do if jelly fish come into nearby waters and also colour-coded wristbands for children on different stretches of coast, so that if they go missing they're easier to repatriate with parents.