POLICE say they will step up patrols in a neighbourhood after reports of large numbers of youths gathering without social distancing.

Residents had reported seeing groups of dozens of youths gathering in the area around Walmsley Road in Eccleston during the evenings.

They say the groups, of up to 50 young people, have been out each evening, with no social distancing taking place.

The matter has been raised with the local police, who say they will step up visibility in the area.

Inspector Neil Birkett said: “Our local community team will be providing additional visibility in the area as a result of reports of youths gathering.

“We are continuing to engage and explain with people that, for their own and other people’s safety, they continue to adhere by social distancing rules when in public.”