FIGHTING, street-urination and drunken behaviour is putting pressure on Weymouth Harbour pubs as crowds bring their own alcohol to the harbourside.

Publicans say they are having to deal with problem behaviour of drinkers who are not their customers, and are concerned at the lack of social distancing - as well as the amount of mess left behind.

Not only that, but groups also try to use toilet facilities belonging to the pubs, and there are concerns about under-age drinking, particularly on Friday nights.

Keith Treggiden of the Rendezvous on the north side of the harbour said he is shocked by the lack of support for pubs after they reopened and is calling for people to stand by local businesses.

He said: "We've had people diving in the harbour tanked up, people urinating on the pontoon up against boats and people fighting in the streets.

"A bunch of girls were dancing in the road the other night while the rest of the group jeered at people waiting in their car to get past - it's just become very unsociable.

"We've had people come up to us saying 'look at the state of outside' - but that's not our trade - we're even donning the PPE gear and clearing up people's mess - we don't want to be associated with that. It looks horrendous."

Although the council has brought in security guards to help, Mr Treggiden said security staff have been briefed to not intervene with people drinking on the harbour wall - although if a fracas breaks out, they will step in.

He said: "There's a lot of youths who would definitely be challenged for ID if they came into the premises."

Mr Tregidden said the harbour pedestrianisation scheme is helping because the extra tables help pub customers observe social-distancing.

"We're clearly observing social distancing - on the harbour wall they're clearly not," he added.

"Crowds gathered against the wall don't shift once the road's reopened (at night) - that's something we wouldn't want to police as we shouldn't have to suffer the anger that goes with that."

The manager of The George pub, also on the north harbourside, said: "We've had a lot of contact with police about the situation and security patrolling the area which has helped.

"We only allow groups of six so large groups gather outside - and some of the drinkers look very young. We have concerns but obviously you can't stop people doing what they're going to do."

A spokesman for Dorset Police said they had received reports of just one incident at the harbour involving a group of young people at around 10.15pm on Friday July 17 on Helen Lane.

"Officers attended and the group were dispersed from the area. No arrests were made," the spokesman said.

Meanwhile Neighbourhood Inspector Barry Gosling of Weymouth and Portland police, said: “While underage drinking can sometimes lead to anti-social behaviour in our communities, it can also damage the health of young people.

“It is against the law for a person under the age of 18 to be drinking alcohol in public.

“Over recent months we have significantly increased patrols in Weymouth town centre and we will target anyone who is seen to be under the age of 18 and drinking to protect both themselves and our communities. These efforts will continue as part of our 100 Days of Summer enhanced policing campaign.”