POLICE have been congratulated by parish councillors for preventing gangs of youths travelling from Darlington to a village to drink alcohol.

Anti-social behaviour incidents have remained low in Middleton St George for the fourth consecutive month and police believe the only teenagers who have been drinking in the village this month live there.

Six incidents of youths causing annoyance have been reported to police since May 9, but most involved younger children rather than teenagers drinking alcohol.

Sgt Mark Ralphs told Middleton St George Parish Council on Monday night: "The ones we are getting tend to be kids between 11 and six years old, messing about.

"We only had one call about the drinkers. That was from Stagecoach, who kindly told us they'd brought them in. The ones here this month have been village kids. We have stopped that element from the top end of Yarm Road coming down on the bus."

Coun Doris Jones, chairman, said: "We have noticed it has been quieter and I thank you for that."