WATCHING obscene content on Valentine’s Day and urinating on furniture are just some of the reasons people in Essex have been banned from the county’s libraries.

A Freedom of Information request revealed almost 150 people have been banned from Essex libraries since 2016.

Essex County Council revealed some of the more bizarre reasons for bans.

This includes one person who is barred from Maldon library for “viewing obscene content” on Valentine’s Day, 2017.

Another member of the public was banned from Braintree library on May 5, 2019, for “urination on furniture”.

But a county council spokesman said: “Pre-pandemic, Essex’s library service averaged 4.5 million visits per year.

“Considering this high number of visits, we have very few incidents of poor customer behaviour and the vast majority of people use their libraries appropriately.

“Banning customers from library services is always a very last resort, but is an option available should the circumstances mean it is absolutely necessary in order to protect staff.

“Unreasonable, persistent or abusive customers are managed in line with our customer behaviour guidelines and the libraries’ banning policy, which is currently being updated.

“Staff are trained to handle difficult situations, supported emotionally, and have access to the employee assistance support if required.

“All serious harassment or abusive incidents are also reported to Essex Police directly.”

The county council’s response to the request listed 146 instances of libraries banning people since 2016.

However, 46 libraries have not banned anyone at all since 2016 and 12 others had only banned one person in that time.