A spokesperson for Southend Council has warned local fans of the LOVE ON THE ROCKS craze that people caught leaving the painted stones in a public place could receive a £5000 fine for littering and public endangerment.
The trend involves decorating stones with paint and Sharpie pens and then leaving them in public for other people to find, but the Council have been forced to intervene after 82-year-old Elsie Longbottom from Chalkwell broke her hip after falling over one on Saturday.
The painted Minion stone had been left on Chalkwell Seafront.
Local head of leisure engagement Roger Harder said: ‘We need to remind members of the public that Love On The Rocks is technically littering, and if a five-year-old child is the one who placed the stone on the floor their parents could still be liable to a £5000 fine.’
‘It’s a question of safety as well. There are still many areas of Southend where a child could just find the rock and throw it through the nearest window or into the skull of a passing mother with children.’
‘Extra patrols will be set up for Bank Holiday Monday across Southend to ensure that people take their rocks home with them.’
We asked Mr Harder to confirm reports that there had also been complaints about public decency.
He said: ‘Five people have been prosecuted for a breach of the peace in August after leaving offensive and sexually explicit stones within the borough of Southend.’
‘Three of them were following a sub-craze called Cocks On The Rocks by drawing a crudely-shaped penis on stones and leaving them outside toddler-suitable play areas in Priory Park and Southchurch Park.’
‘The other two just used a bottle of Tipp-Ex to create racist graffiti. We cannot tolerate this.’
‘Therefore, we are advising Southend residents to take their stones outside the borough this weekend or they risk a £5000 fine.’
A spokesperson for Neil Diamond confirmed that the singer is prepared to open a lawsuit against anyone using the phrase ‘Love On The Rocks.’