EAST Lothian’s police chief has called on parents to help combat underage drinking in Dunbar.

Police have seized alcohol from youths, while more than one youngster in the town has been taken to hospital due to drinking too much in recent weeks.

Concerns about anti-social behaviour and underage drinking, particularly in Lochend Woods and the Hallhill area of the town, have been passed on to police.

Dedicated patrols have been put in place ahead of each weekend in a bid to combat the problem.

Now, Chief Inspector Neil Mitchell, local area police commander, has made an appeal for assistance.

He said: “I am disappointed that youths in Dunbar continue to meet in large numbers and cause significant anti-social behaviour and disorder.

“Last weekend, my officers were the target of unacceptable abusive language and abusive behaviour.

“A significant amount of alcohol is also being consumed, leaving youngsters vulnerable and open to abuse when they are not in a fit state to think sensibly.

“On more than one occasion, youths have been taken to hospital.”

The senior officer took to social media to appeal to parents and carers “to assist us in combatting this issue”.

He urged parents and carers to ensure that children and young people did not have access to alcohol from home and to make sure they knew where the youngsters were going and with whom.

He added: “If they come home drunk, please challenge them and prevent it from happening again.

“It may be that your child is not the one committing any particular offence but if they are in a group of youths, some of whom are committing crimes, we will take action against everyone.

“Working with us will reduce the disorder and prevent your children being brought home by my officers.

“Officers have already charged some youths and several have been taken home in drunken states.

“My officers are working alongside East Lothian Council community wardens and they have seized significant amounts of alcohol and charged a number of youths for anti-social behaviour related offences.

“They have visited local shops reminding them of their responsibilities and carried out high-visibility patrols.

“In the coming days and weeks, we will have national police resources in Dunbar supporting my local officers and we will take a robust approach to any disorder.

“I need you all to do your bit to help us, to protect your children and to make your town a safe place to live, work and visit.”

Anyone who spots anti-social behaviour can contact Police Scotland on 101.