POLICE have increased patrols near a lock on the Great Ouse in Eaton Socon following reports of anti-social and dangerous behaviour.

POLICE have increased patrols near a lock on the Great Ouse in Eaton Socon following reports of anti-social and dangerous behaviour.

During the warmer weather, officers have been made aware of lock controls being damaged and people jumping into the river from the lock. There have also been reports of youths intimidating passers-by, taking drugs, drinking alcohol and dropping litter.

Officers are concerned about the safety of people swimming in or near the lock.

Sergeant Ed McNeill, from the St Neots neighbourhood policing team, said police officers would be running joint patrols with Environment Agency officers.

He said: "Swimming in or near the lock is potentially very dangerous and could result in someone being seriously injured or even dying.

"The lock is also a beauty spot and the anti-social behaviour that has been reported in the area will not be tolerated."

The warning comes just weeks after the Environment Agency issued a warning to anyone tempted to swim in rivers.

The agency said fast currents, weirs and locks, cold water and unstable riverbanks can pose a serious health and safety risk - or even kill and added that the majority of people who drown in rivers can actually swim.

Irven Forbes, Environment Agency waterways manager, said: "Water claims the lives of more than 50 children a year in the UK. Drowning is the third most common accidental death among Britain's under 16s, behind road accidents and house fires.

"We have worked hard to raise awareness among young people but the statistics show there is still work to do to get the message across that the hazards are often hidden and underestimating the dangers of water can have tragic consequences."

INFORMATION: Anyone with information about anti social behaviour at Eaton Socon lock should contact Sgt McNeill on 0345 4564564.