Reminder to the Public to Follow Government Guidelines
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Police are reminding people to follow government guidelines and to social distance after the Force received hundreds of COVID-19 related calls over the weekend.
Head of Policing, Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin said: “Over the weekend we received 284 reports relating to COVID tensions, the majority of these reports were of youths gathering in parks and in relation to house and street parties.
“Some of the reports we have received have highlighted that up to 100 youths are gathering in particular parks and beaches, some of them drinking alcohol.
“The government has clearly stated that people still need to maintain their distance from others and although the restrictions have lifted slightly, people’s lives are still at risk and it is vitally important that we adhere to the government’s’ regulations to protect the vulnerable people living in our communities.
“The reports we received over the weekend are concerning for us and it clearly shows that there are a minority of young people who are not taking COVID-19 seriously.
“Officers attended Preston Park in Eaglescliffe last night after receiving a report of a group of youths drinking and causing a nuisance. Police attended and the youths were dispersed, three males in their 20’s were given a caution for being in the possession of cannabis and officers had to put out a small fire.
“This is just one example of some of the incidents we have dealt with over the weekend and I want to make it clear that the Force will not tolerate this behaviour.
“Police will be patrolling parks and beach areas on a regular basis and we will ensure that young people or anyone found gathering in large groups without social distancing, and anyone found to be participating in antisocial behaviour or taking drugs, will be dealt with appropriately. Having a criminal record, particularly at such a young age, does not bode well for future career prospects.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to ask parents to encourage their children to maintain social distancing and to not hang around in large groups and discourage them from drinking alcohol outside for the sake of their health and other family members who may be vulnerable to catching COVID-19.
“Lastly, I would like to thank the majority of people who adhered to government guidelines over the weekend, we know it isn’t easy when the weather is nice but it thanks their efforts that the restrictions have lifted slightly.”