A GROUP of ten youths have been spotted drinking beer together at a Dorset river - despite lockdown instructions to stay at home.

Shona Blunden, 48, said she spotted the gathering on her daily walk along River Stour, near Iford Bridge in Christchurch.

It is believed the group congregated at the river for two hours, as they were reportedly still there at 6pm after first being spotted at four in the afternoon.

She said one guy was handing beers out while another jumped into the river fully-clothed.

Shona, who lives in Christchurch, said: "Surely the guy handing the beers out could cause cross-contamination.

"There were about six other people taking pictures, we were all horrified. Where do their parents think they are?

"They could spread it and then give it to their brother or sister. They think it's just old people but it's not."

It comes after the government instructed people to stay home unless going out to buy food and essentials, one form of exercise a day, to care for a vulnerable person or for essential travel to and from work.

If people do go out, they have been warned to keep two metres from others.

Many have since responded in anger to Shona's social media post of the youths on social media.

One of Shona's neighbours said: "They were all still playing football at 6pm on our walk."

Shona added: "This lockdown is going to go on for a hell of a lot longer if this carries on.

"If people can't start behaving, we won't be able to go anywhere. People are dying and these kids think it's one big joke."

Shona then called the police, who she said informed her that they would escort each person from the gathering home if they found them.

Police now have powers to disperse social gatherings and can fine people if they do not have an essential reason to be outside.