Police will not hesitate to hand out £10,000 fines to those who flout the rules on house parties, Watford’s chief inspector has said.

Ian Grout says police will go straight into enforcement action should any illegal gatherings be spotted in homes.

CI Grout, who was speaking to Mayor Peter Taylor on a Facebook live video, also urged people to call 101 should they spot neighbours holding gatherings against coronavirus guidelines.

“We have some money from the Government to put on extra patrols that will attend and it will be dealt with,” CI Grout said.

“If for instance you see in the news about these large house parties, we would go straight into enforcement.

“I think in Nottingham four students were fined £10,000, it would be the same in Hertfordshire.

“If we see a house party on a Friday or a Saturday for example then we will go into enforcement.”

Currently Hertfordshire is placed in Tier 1 of the Government’s three tier alert system, meaning people must not meet in a group of more than 6, indoors or outdoors.

CI Grout said: “If there was a house party going on and clearly there is more than six people, call 101.

“If there is 10 people in there, 20 or 30 people, we do urge you to call the police.”

Asked what police would do if they spot people in groups larger than six in the street, CI Grout said officers would “engage” with them.

He said: “If we see a group of 10 people for example then we will engage with them and explain why we are doing it.

“99.9 per cent of the people we talk to will then disperse.

“The majority are abiding by the regulations, you see people wearing masks.

“It can be difficult when you are younger as you want to see your friends, but I think people get it.”

He added that enforcement action would be the last resort.