POLICE have been dealing with large-scale youth disorder in towns and villages across County Durham over the weekend.

Stanley Police responded to reports of about 30 young people gathering in the Dipton area, near Stanley, on Saturday night. The youths were drinking alcohol, smashing bottles and acting in an anti-social manner.

In a separate incident, police attended an incident where more than 25 youths were drinking and setting fire to wheelie bins in Pinies Woods on Hustledown Road, South Moor, near Stanley, ere also required to attend.

Writing on Stanley Police Facebook page the Stanley Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "During these incidents, criminal damage and arson have occurred and police will be taking appropriate action.

"If you do not know where your children are, please phone them, ask them where they are, and assist police by getting them to return home.

"In the current climate where large gatherings are to be avoided due to Covid-19- they are putting themselves and others at risk.

"Please be aware our emergency services are already very busy dealing with other issues. Please assist emergency services by safeguarding your children at home and not allowing to them to gather in large groups causing issues for the emergency services."

Meanwhile, on Friday night officers from the Newton Aycliffe Neighbourhood Policing Team seized a large quantity of alcohol from local youths as part of their ongoing Operation to tackle anti-social behaviour.