A neighbourhood police officer has posted shocking pictures on social media in the hope of reinforcing the rules around social distancing after witnessing people fooling around in rubber dinghies in a river.

Sgt Kev Day from the Ribble Valley police posted a photo on Facebook of one of his friends wearing an oxygen mask, who was recently hospitalised with Covid-19.

He also posted a similar picture of a lady from his village who has been suffering with the coronavirus and is still trying to fight it.

Sgt Day said: "I have added pictures here that I hope will reinforce our message.

"One is of an old friend of mine, Paul, who was recently hospitalised with Covid-19.

"Another is a brave lady from my village, Helen, who has been extremely ill with the condition and continues to fight it.

"The next displays idiotic behaviour on the river near Ribchester this Saturday, and the last is my lovely daughter displaying displeasure at a plate of mussels.

"I do not want my daughter to find herself in the same position as Paul or Helen and having to fight this awful condition because of selfish and foolish behaviour."

On Saturday, Sgt Day said he spotted numerous incidents of people flouting lockdown and social distancing guidelines which has left him annoyed and frustrated.

He said: "As I rode home on Saturday afternoon I saw numerous cars parked along the side of the road near beauty spots.

"There were also multiple motorbike riders in groups out for an apparent pleasure ride, and pods of walkers huddled together along paths.

"I was genuinely annoyed at the behaviour on a personal and professional level.

"I receive emails, calls and reports every day from concerned residents who want to highlight this kind of activity to us.

"We try to address as much as we can, but the fact of the matter is that this comes down to personal responsibility and making the right choices based on the government guidelines.

"We only have so many officers available at any given time.

"We cannot stop every car or motorbike and speak to every group of people out enjoying the countryside, we have to rely on people considering others before themselves in these testing times.

"Please stick to the rules and help keep everyone safe."