CHILDREN as young as 13 were found partying at a club night which ended in sex and sick.
The event was marketed as a “youth disco” for over 16s, but police say tickets were passed to much younger teenagers as sellers looked to cash in on their slice of door money.
The Durham City do was organised by three 17-year-old boys, and saw an estimated 1,200 tickets bought for the 800-capacity venue.
And many teenagers had “pre-loaded” on booze before heading to the party.
Police were met by a scene of chaos, with stranded partygoers in need of lifts home from parents, including a girl who vomited while in the queue and another who downed a half-litre of vodka.
There were also crowds in the street demanding entry to the event and evidence of sexual activity between teenagers, including used condoms.
Officers were forced to call in back-up from colleagues in Peterlee to bring the disorder under control.
Police have since spoken to the licensee of the venue, which they have declined to name, and the organisers – who have been described as “naive”.
While the event was advertised via social media, ticket sales went through school or college students, who received a percentage of each transaction – typically £1 from each £6 ticket.
Inspector Paul Anderson, who leads the city’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “The message I want to get across is to ask parents if they realise what type of event their children are going to.
“Some of the kids could hardly stand up and inside the premises we found evidence of sexual behaviour as well, including used condoms.
“Parents must ask themselves if they know what their children are up to or whether they are aware of the dangers.
“They are at serious risk of harm, either through drink or being exploited by others.”
Thirty-one youngsters, including a 14-year-old girl, caused such concern they have been referred to specialist advice agencies.
Alcohol at such events is meant to be sold to those aged 18 and above, with a separate bar serving non-alcoholic drinks to the underage.
In practice, police say it is almost impossible to prevent under-18s buying drink from those who are above age, or from being served at the normal bar.
Insp Anderson added: “We are not out to stop people enjoying themselves, and not every event will be as poorly-planned as this one.
“But it is clear we have a problem on our hands and I will not tolerate this type of behaviour in Durham City. It is generally a safe place and I want to keep it that way.”