A HOUSE party of around 40 young people was broken up by police in Southampton after it was in breach of coronavirus guidelines.

Officers from Hampshire Constabulary issued a dispersal order following reports of the incident on Saturday night.

A spokesperson for the force said residents would have noticed more uniformed activity than usual in Millbrook between 11pm and midnight.

"We were dispersing a house party of up to 40 young persons breaching Covid restrictions," the spokesperson said. "A dispersal order was put in place to prevent further disorder."

The police response was in Cateran Close and spilled out onto Oakley Road and up towards Shirley High Street.

Dispersal powers can be used by police under section 35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This gives PCs and PSCOs in uniform the power to exclude a person from an area for a period of up to 48 hours with an inspector’s authority.