PARENTS are being urged to warn their children of the risks after youths were spotted ‘dangerously balancing on the edge of a cliff’.

Portland mayor Sandy West said she was concerned by the actions of the youths seen on the edge of Westcliff near Mutton Cove on Thursday, but said she understands the ‘frustration’ of both young people and parents alike amid the coronavirus pandemic - and the restrictions that have come with it.

Mrs West also raised concerns about the strain such ‘frivolous actions’ have on coastline emergency services such as the RNLI.

She said: “I understand how frustrating the past year has been for everyone, but we’re still in a pandemic.

“Over the years there’s been too many cliff rescues on Portland–and these youths have to be careful.

“I’m disappointed to know they were so close to the edge of the cliff. One wrong foot and a situation can change in an instant.

“These frivolous actions can put more strain on emergency services when rescuing people.”

A concerned Portland resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “Kids out and about in Westcliff around 6.30pm. Please have a word and hammer home the dangers once again.

“These [youths] were extremely close to the edge on a few occasions - sometimes balancing on the edge.

“One lad emerged from over the edge. We’ve all done it as kids. I grew up around here and understand the dare but unfortunately there’s no second chance once you’ve slipped.

“It’s not particularly dangerous if you’re sensible, but everywhere along there is dangerous when you’re that close to the edge.”

“Nobody can police their children all the time, but parents need to know what their children are up to,” said Mrs West. We cannot blame all youths because of the actions of a few, but this has come to the fore because we’re seeing more anti-social behaviour on Portland due to the boredom of the pandemic.”

A spokeswoman from RNLI said: “The RNLI advises everyone to stay well back from cliff edges and piers–particularly during rough weather.

“If you or someone else is in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”