Anyone who has taken a trip to the seaside this summer has witnessed a bag of doughnuts or chips being whipped out of an inattentive hand by a hungry gull.
Gull complaints are soaring, with numbers doubling in five years after a change in the rules meant councils were no longer allowed to remove nests and eggs, the Telegraph can reveal.
Data analysed by the Telegraph shows that complaints for gulls across 84 English councils doubled from 544 in 2016 to 956 in 2020 and 1,075 in 2021 – a 98 per cent rise.
Most incidents were mess and noise complaints, but one in four councils highlighted complaints involving physical attacks by gulls, on people or pets.
On Saturday a grandmother from St Peters in Broadstairs, Kent, spoke about how she was left bleeding like "something from a Freddy Krueger film” after a gull attack.