POLICE have written to parents asking them to remind their children of the rules on social distancing.

Sent to schools in the Barrow area, the letter urges children to stop gathering before and after school.

It is said to follow concerns raised by members of the community.

Writing to parents, PS Joanne Smith of Barrow Police's child centred policing team said: "I am writing this letter to remind you and your children of the measures that the government have put in place which are law and need to be adhered too.

"This letter has come about by your community raising concerns about the numbers of young people congregating together before and after school time. "I do appreciate what the young people are telling us about being in bubbles in school and why can't we be when we leave school as we are with the same people, and I do have empathy in relation to what they are saying, but that said, schools have put in stringent measures to keep your children safe whilst in school, and when they are not in school this is not the case."

She said parents need to remind their children to stay at home unless permitted by law in certain situations.

These include work and volunteering, essential activities and moving home.

She reminded people they must not meet with another person socially or undertake activities with another person.

Exercising with people of the same household or support bubble is allowed.

PS Smith added: "We all find ourselves in difficult times due to this coronavirus and as a police officer we would rather engage, explain and encourage your children then have to use enforcement with them."