Police are patrolling the streets of Tynemouth after reports of crowds flouting coronavirus restrictions.
One local councillor claimed up to 300 people had gathered on Front Street, in the North Tyneside town, on Sunday night, and said people had been seen drinking and ignoring social distancing rules.
Councillor Lewis Bartoli said locals feared the street had become “an informal meeting place”, with complaints about littering and public urination.
Speaking to ChronicleLive, Coun Bartoli called on North Tyneside council to “clamp down” on the meetings, which he feared were “risking a spike in cases”. And he said local police officers should “get out more and have more of a presence”.
On Monday night, a spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: “Extra officers have been deployed in Tynemouth after reports of a number of people not adhering to Covid restrictions in public spaces.
“We are working with partners [at North Tyneside council] to encourage people to follow any additional guidelines which are in place.
“We want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that we all have a responsibility to reduce the spread of the virus in our region and would ask that everyone, including shoppers and those getting take away services, adhere to the regulations which are in place to protect us all.”
The news comes amid reports that even tougher “Tier 5” measures could be brought in to stop the spread of coronavirus across the country in the wake of the easing of rules over Christmas.
Government scientists have reportedly told Boris Johnson he needs to implement stricter measures to stop Covid-19 from spiralling out of control.
Experts have told Boris that a New Year national lockdown similar to the one in November where schools remain open will not be enough.
They recommend even stronger measures where secondary schools are shut and pubs and non-essential shops remain closed.