Fifteen youngsters have been banned from Swadlincote's McDonald's restaurant after they were caught on camera using abusive and threatening behaviour.

Close work between McDonald's staff, Derbyshire police's safer neighbourhood team and South Derbyshire District Council led to the bans, and came after a concerted period of issues there, including food being thrown at staff.

McDonald's staff used body cameras to catch and identify the youngsters after problems at the Belmont Street venue.

Large groups have been known to linger for long periods inside the restaurant and have even been throwing food and sachets sauce at staff and harassing them, it is claimed.

Officers say now plain clothed officers and uniformed patrols will monitor the area to check on any further incidents inside and outside the fast-food restaurant.

Inspector Kate Bateman, who is in charge of policing in South Derbyshire, said that harassment would not be tolerated.

South Derbyshire police Inspector Kate Bateman, outside Swadlincote Police Station
South Derbyshire police Inspector Kate Bateman, outside Swadlincote Police Station

She said: "Over the last few weeks we have seen an increase in anti-social behaviour outside the McDonald's restaurant in Swadlincote.

"Our Safer Neighbourhood team is working hard to address this problem with pro-active, high visibility and plain-clothed patrols.

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"We are also working with the Safer South Derbyshire Partnership to address this poor behaviour.

"While we work to educate the young people and parents, the message is that behaviour that causes harassment to others will not be tolerated."

A spokesman for the Safer South Derbyshire Partnership - a combined organisation merging South Derbyshire District Council, the police, Derbyshire County Council, and the fire service, among others - said that the parents of the youngsters have been handed warnings about their child's behaviour.

They said: "We have been made aware of some anti-social behaviour at McDonald's in Swadlincote, with groups of youths staying for long periods of time whilst being abusive and threatening to staff.

"To help combat the issue, regular monthly meetings are held with management and the police are targeting patrols at the restaurant.

"Nine Community Protection Notice Warnings and two Community Protection Notices have been issued to parents about their children's behaviour.

Swadlincote's McDonald's restaurant has seen an increase of incidents of anti-social behaviour

"We are also working with the multi-agency team and youth workers to engage with the young people concerned.

"Fifteen of the individuals have been identified and banned with the help of the staff.

"We would like to reassure the wider community that we are working closely with our partners to take appropriate action."

Partnership staff say that youngsters have been staying in McDonald's more and more due to the cold weather, cheap food and free wi-fi - with only some of the young people causing disruption.

A McDonald's spokesman said that the safety of the company's staff was "paramount" and continues to monitor the situation.

They said that the "nuisance behaviour" peaked over Christmas and New Year.

A spokesman told the Burton Mail: "The safety of our customers and crew is of paramount importance to us.

"We have been working closely with both the council and the police to combat anti-social behaviour in the vicinity of our Swadlincote restaurant.

"Due to general nuisance behaviour over the Christmas and New Year period a number of young people have been banned from entering the restaurant and we are continuing to monitor the situation."