Police are investigating after prank “Toilet of England” stickers were put over Kent road signs by anti-Brexit campaigners.
Signs across the county were changed on Friday by activists from the group known as EU Flag Mafia, who have previously run other highly visible campaigns against the UK’s departure from the EU.
Where once before motorists would be politely informed they were entering the Garden of England – as Kent is known – the new message read: “Welcome to Kent The Toilet of England”.
The stunt aimed to highlight fears of huge lorry queues along the county’s motorways, with suggestions that portable toilets will have to be installed on roadsides for use by delayed drivers.
Kent Police said they have been made aware of “criminal damage” to road signs in the county and inquiries are continuing.
But a member of the activist team hit out at the idea of officers devoting time to the stickered signs.
They told the PA news agency: “We acted on behalf of the residents of Kent.
“Everyone who was involved in placing ‘Toilet’ on the road signs lives in Kent and we reject any suggestion that any damage was done to any of the road signs – the stickers can be removed very easily.
“If any Kent resident feels offended, we suggest they simply remove the stickers.
“We suggest that Kent Police have better things to be doing with their valuable time, like trying to work out how the people in Kent will be still be able to travel around the county while thousands of lorries are gridlocked in jams around the county.”
The cloak-and-dagger operation – which activists stressed was compliant with Covid guidelines – covered around 30 road signs stretching from Dartford near London to the border with East Sussex.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has previously warned that queues of up to 7,000 trucks could form in Kent unless businesses do more to prepare.
On Wednesday a five-mile queue of lorries stacked up on the M20 through part of Kent as a trial of Brexit border checks was carried out by French officials.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.