THIS is the state a wooded area of town park was left in by youths, some of whom were drinking alcohol there.

Broken beer bottles were among the rubbish left strew across the woods at the top of Millennium Green, in Tow Law, County Durham, in recent days.

Less than a year ago a group of volunteers worked hard to clean up a similar mess in the same area of Tow Law.

Crook neighbourhood policing team also received reports of youths congregating, drinking and causing trouble in the Howden-le-Wear area.

Following reports of antisocial behaviour and children becoming intoxicated, officers conducted patrols on Saturday night and found a small group of boys and girls aged just 13 to 16-years-old.

They had with them a quantity of alcohol thought to have been bought for them by an adult, which was seized by the police. 

The Northern Echo:

Officers urged parents to check their children's behaviour and warned that any adult found buying alcohol foranyone under 18-years-old will face police action.

A spokesperson for the neighbourhood policing team said: "Following reports of youths congregating in and around Millennium Green in Tow Law, officers were shocked to discover an unacceptable abundance of rubbish strewn about in the woods located at the top of the park.

"This form of littering including a number of broken glass beer bottles and general rubbish is a disgrace and Durham County Council will be contacted in order to remove the rubbish and sofa.

"It is less than a year since a voluntary group cleaned up mess much like this.

"We urge parents to enquire the whereabouts of their children and whether they are partaking in any form of alcohol consumption and as to where they are getting hold of this.

"Buying alcohol for those below the age of 18 is a criminal offence and anyone caught carrying this out will be dealt with robustly.

"Please look after your neighbourhood and surrounding area.

"Many thanks and stay safe."