OFFICERS dished out a special birthday present, a £200 fine, to a resident who breached the new coronavirus restrictions by hosting a party.

Fresh powers have been given to police officers to deal out on the spot fines for people who breach the new "rule of six" guidelines.

And Colchester's policing team have been busy already, dishing out a fine to one 35-year-old who had organised a birthday party at their home.

A spokesman for Essex Police Colchester said: "Officers have been busy over the weekend conducting disruption patrols and ensuring the 'rule of six' is being adhered to.

"On Saturday evening officers attended a report of a large gathering at a property.

"Despite one of the occupants inside the property using the line from a popular meme he had seen to prevent officers entering the property we can assure you that this did not prevent the officers disrupting the 35-year-old's birthday party ensuring all the guests left.

"Furthermore as caring police officers we left the birthday boy a special birthday present of a £200 fine.

"The rules are in place to protect our communities. While some may not agree with the current legislation, the majority abide by it and have had to make sacrifices to do so.

"Those who choose not to continue to put our communities at risk."

The tougher Government restrictions mean the fine for people not wearing face coverings in shops, supermarkets, public transport, taxis and in indoor hospitality has doubled to £200 for a first time offence.

This is the same for those caught breaching the new rule of six.