YOUNGSTERS have caused distress to the neighbours of a village pub with a string of anti-social behaviour on its grounds.

Individuals shouted abuse, spat, left cigarette ends and other rubbish in the newly installed wooden pods at Wylam's Fox and Hounds pub.

Manager Sarah Bosstock said: "We've had a lot of trouble with teenagers and other people using our new pods.

"We were more concerned because it was annoying our neighbours. They were getting abuse shouted at them which looks bad on the pub. We just wanted to make people aware.

"It's been a bit of a nightmare in the village since the first lockdown and all over summer. It's not just people coming in from outside the village, it's a bit of everybody."

A public Spaces Protection Order came into force for Wylam in October 2020 for at least three years. It followed a spate of anti-social behaviour in the village that saw young people drinking in the streets and jumping off the old railway bridge.

The order prohibits the consumption of alcohol in a public place which is reasonably likely to lead to anti-social behaviour, nuisance or annoyance, affecting those in the locality.

It was thee culmination of work by the Parish Council and Northumbria Police to tackle the significant anti-social behaviour issues that were experienced across the parish. Discussion between the Parish Council and the Police, together with a significant number of incidents reported by local residents, led to the call for a PSPO to be made which would provide police with the powers necessary to tackle the problems.

Sarah added: "Businesses are struggling enough without having things like this going on, because it doesn't reflect well on the pub.

"It's just boredom, there's nothing for them to do - but they should be at home. I don't think we're the only things who have been affected."