AS excuses for breaching coronavirus rules go, it certainly takes some beating.

Police investigating reports of an illegal house party in a Hampshire town were told: "We didn't know there was a global pandemic - we never watch the news."

It must rank as one of the most bizarre reasons put forward by Covid rule-breakers since the international epidemic began ten months ago.

Details of the incident, which occurred yesterday evening, have been posted on social media by Hampshire Constabulary.

The post says: "Officers were deployed to an address in Basingstoke this evening following several reports of a party at an address, and therefore breaching lockdown guidelines.

"The occupants were spoken to and claimed to be unaware of the global pandemic, as they never watch the news!"

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesperson added: "We can confirm that officers were called out at 8.33pm to reports of a party at a residential property on Guernsey Close.

"Officers spoke to the individuals inside the property who were advised about the current government guidance.

"An investigation is under way with a view to reporting the individuals involved for summons following a Covid breach."

Police were also called to reports of anti-social behaviour in Shirley, Southampton, at 9.14pm yesterday.

A number of young people were seen throwing eggs at passing cars, including a police vehicle.

Officers have also been out and about on the eastern edge of the New Forest to make sure that no-one is breaking the rules.

A police spokesperson said: "The Waterside neighbourhood team have again patrolled late into the night in response to recent burglaries and thefts.

"We have also continued to engage with people we have encountered during our patrols about the current Covid - regulations directing a number of people to return home.

"We will continue to do all we can to keep safe and target offenders."