POLICE and council chiefs have spoken out after shocking video emerged of York city centre packed with singing, chanting crowds of revellers last night after the pubs closed at 10pm.

Footage shared by thousands of people on Facebook showed crowds milling around in Church Street, singing, booing and chanting as a police van arrived on the scene.

The scenes have created outrage from many people, with one commenting: "Absolutely hideous behaviour. Shame on them."

Senior York councillor Andrew Waller said today that such scenes 'put us all at greater risk and give the virus the chance to easily spread.'

North Yorkshire Police said that when dealing with the public, its officers adopted the 'four E’s' approach; engage, explain, encourage and as a last resort will use enforcement.

“In this case, officers attended the scene and encouraged the group to disperse. No arrests were made and the group was dispersed by 10.27pm," said a spokesperson.

“Everyone needs to be mindful of the risks associated by not social distancing, and we would continue to ask everyone to work together in order to keep people across the city of York safe."

Cllr Waller, executive member for the economy and planning at City of York Council, said: "The businesses and residents of York have done so much this year to limit the number of coronavirus cases and we are all very grateful for that.

“However the virus is still here and cases locally and across the country are rising.

"Scenes like this put us all at greater risk and give the virus the chance to easily spread, and increases the likelihood of further restrictions which could close down many businesses.

“We will work with partners from across the city such as the Police, Make it York, the York BID and York Retail Forum to ensure that scenes like these aren’t a regular occurrence and people can support our local businesses in a way that is safe and that won’t spread the virus.

“If out in town until the pub curfew then we would ask people to not congregate in large groups whilst making their way home and stay in their group (of up to 6).

“Everyone has a role to play in stopping the virus, keeping people safe and the places we love open.

"We must keep going by remembering to:

*wash our hands regularly

*wear a face covering in busy public spaces

*keep 2m apart from others

*self-isolate and request a test if you have symptoms.

“Together we can get through this but we all need to look after each other and remember ‘Hands. Face. Space’ to stop the spread of the virus.”