A RIVERSIDE location in a Tyne Valley village has been used as an underage drinking den during lockdown, councillors claim.

Groups of youngsters, including some as young as 12 years old, have been seen by the river near Well Bank in Corbridge, it was reported at a meeting of Corbridge Parish Council.

At the meeting, which took place last Wednesday via videolink, it was claimed that social distancing measures had been ignored, while the culprits had discarded litter and used foul language.

Resident Ian Wylie said plastic chairs had been left at the location, and that groups had met there on three or four occasions.

Attending the meeting as a member of the public, former parish councillor David Walton said: “There are youngsters going along there and they are not social distancing. They are drinking and litter has been left behind.

“I have been told that they are not from Corbridge, but they are between 12 years old and 17 years old.”

Councillors said there was a by-law which prevented the consumption of alcohol at the location, but raised concerns about how it could be enforced.

County councillor Nick Oliver said that all residents, including councillors, needed to be extra vigilant, and report any suspicious activity to the police.

He added: “If people are breaking the law it is a question of calling the police. It is a

Neighbourhood inspector for Northumbria Police, Pam Bridges, said: “We are aware of concerns about anti-social behaviour in Corbridge and want to reassure residents these reports are taken seriously.

“The hot weather last week saw a big spike in anti-social behaviour across the force area and Corbridge was not alone in seeing an increase in those consuming alcohol and behaving in a disorderly manner. We have experienced a reduction in incidents due to the change in weather, but we will target patrols in areas where many of these individuals have gathered.”

“Lockdown rules have been eased, but we all still need to take personal responsibility to prevent the spread of coronavirus and safeguard vulnerable members of our community. If anyone has any concerns, then we would encourage you to speak to your neighbourhood policing team or visit our website.”