The Easter school holiday was always going to be the first big test of Oxford City Council's much-trumpeted scheme to allow children to swim free.

A council spokesman talks of "teething problems".

An elected councillor talks of the "novelty factor".

People working on the ground talk of teenage sex, repeated abuse of staff and sick acts of vandalism.

They say too many children are spending too long unsupervised.

They say some are out of control and behave like "animals".

Most significantly, they say safety has been put at risk.

It is too early to condemn the whole plan, since the principle of helping children stay healthy by encouraging them to swim is a terrific one.

But these concerns are far more than "teething problems".

The promised review must take place immediately and serious questions must be asked.

Did the council accurately predict the numbers who might attend, and make contingencies for a big turnout?

Were there enough staff on duty to cope, and were they fully briefed?

Were the 'banding' and number limit systems put in place early enough and if not, why not?

Of course, parents of the rowdy minority must ultimately take responsibility for the appalling behaviour of their offspring.

They should not use the council's scheme as a cheap form of childcare.

But the council was naive in the extreme if it failed to anticipate the surge in attendance and careless if it put public safety at risk.