North Yorkshire Police issue stark arrest warning after reports that large groups of children were seen causing antisocial behaviour offences
Parents have been urged to stress the importance of the Government's social distancing regulations to their children after large groups of youths congregated in areas of the district last Friday.
A group of about 30 to 40 youngsters met up on The Stray as children seemingly marked the premature end of the school term with a celebratory gathering.
It was a scene witnessed in other areas across the region and resulted in North Yorkshire Police issuing a stark warning that action will be taken should any offences be committed.
All schools have now closed, with the exception of classes being organised for the children of key workers, and there are fears that large groups could gather again at the start of the first full week off - flouting the social distancing regulations that the school closures have been brought in to enforce in the first place.
Government experts have accepted that children will want to go out and enjoy the fresh air while they are no longer in school, however, the advice is to keep to small groups and to make sure that you remain more than 2-3 metres apart.
North Yorkshire Police said they had received complaints of some antisocial behaviour on Friday night and pleaded with parents to 'act responsibly' and make sure their children get the message on coronavirus safety, adding 'NPT will arrest your kids'.
"Following reports last night of groups of kids reaching 30-40 in number causing ASB, we ask parents to act responsibly and enforce the governments advice on social distancing with their children," the statement read. "We know these are difficult times but we must protect the elderly and vulnerable in our community.
"If the government's advice is not followed, these measures will last longer. The ASB caused last night will not be tolerated and NPT will arrest your kids if offences are committed."
On Friday night, pubs, clubs and bars were closed to help prevent large gatherings and reduce the risk of the virus spreading, as far as possible.Anyone with a cough or any symptoms is being asked to self-isolate, while the advice to everyone is to minimise social contact as much as possible, and to only travel if absolutely essential.
Workers have been told to work from home if they can and to avoid going out in public other than for exercise, while still maintaining at least three metres' distance to others.
Everyone should also be washing their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water.
Those in vulnerable groups, such as those who need a flu jab or are over 70, are being told to be extra cautious and also isolate themselves.