Rats swarm Newcastle city centre on a Saturday night

Video: A couple did not have the best late-night walk in the North East

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Ahead of May's general election, residents of Newcastle may want to ditch with the usual political parties and go for a complete independent, someone preferably with a magic pipe and hailing from Hamelin.

It appears part of Tyne and Wear may have a rat problem.

Video shot by a couple leaving a Newcastle casino on Saturday night shows the pair turning a street corner to be met by a sea of rats swarming around some rubbish bins.

The couple, Marc Donaghey, 22, and his girlfriend Brooke, 21, said they had just left Aspers casino around 1am when they were met by the alarming sight.

The video shows dozens of rats scampering around the bins in an alleyway, with some of the rats scuttling out onto the street closes to the couple.

"You only see a few on the video but when we first went around the corner there were about 50 or 60," Donaghey told Chronicle Live.

"I've seen rats a few months ago and now I've seen them again, and there seem to be more and more. They were all over the bins."

Following the video, Newcastle City Council acknowledged that rats had become a growing concern in the city, stating that people - specifically traders - were leaving out far too much rubbish.

Edwin Foster, the public protection manager, told Chronicle Live that pest control staff had treated Stowell Street, where the rats were filmed, but that people needed to change their behaviour.

"This problem of rats highlights why our campaign to change people’s behaviour in Newcastle to stop them littering and leaving bins full and overflowing is so necessary," Forter said.

"Littering and poor refuse storage attract vermin. Traders have a legal responsibility to make sure they store and dispose of their refuse correctly.

"Environmental health staff will visit the food premises in the area and ensure that traders are storing and disposing of their refuse properly and have proper pest contracts in place to keep their land free of vermin."

Not that Donaghey will be frequenting the area anytime soon. He said that the rats on Stowell Street were near to a place where he used to eat.

"How could I possibly eat from there anymore?"