A LARGE number of children broke into a Southampton school to play football in breach of covid regulations.

A group of youngsters aged from about 11 into their late teens were spotted playing football at a school over the weekend.

According to police, they broke in or climbed a fence to use the pitch at Oasis Academy Sholing in Middle Road.

When PCSOs arrived on the scene the children are said to have fled the scene on Sunday.

A post on the Southampton Cops Facebook page said: ""What’s the harm in that?” you may be asking. Well, other than the fact these kids were breaching Covid rules playing football together, (you’re allowed to meet up with ONE person for the purpose of EXERCISE. Team sports are specifically listed as being forbidden at the moment), they had also climbed over a fairly tall fence to get around a locked gate and onto the pitch.

"This sort of behaviour often leads to injuries, anti-social behaviour, littering, and a general drop in quality of life for residents in the area as well as the risk of committing criminal damage and ending up with a criminal record.

"If your children were there, please let them know. Thanks.

"Finally, yesterday when we attended Oasis Sholing, in the scramble to escape our PCSOs, someone left some very nice football boots in a carrier bag.

"We would love to return them to their rightful owner.

"So, if you forgot your boots at Oasis Sholing yesterday, please send an email to southampton.east.police@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

"Let us know your name, how to contact you, and a good description of the football boots (make, model, size, colour), to prove they really are yours, and we will arrange for their safe return."

Officers have warned they will enforce the rules even if people do not agree with them.

The Daily Echo has contacted Hampshire police for more information.