Britain was hotter than Barcelona this weekend, with average temperatures of about 20C. And forecasters predict that it will be even hotter from today until Wednesday, with temperatures hitting up to 24C.

As a result, dedicated call centres have been set up receive reports of people caught watering their gardens  or filling paddling pools with a hosepipe.

Anyone who does so after April 5 will be handed a £1000 fine.

The tough measures stem from research that found one in seven people had broken the hosepipe bans imposed during the 2006 droughts.

The Telegraph newspaper reported that water companies will have staff  spy on residents’ gardens and driveways when carrying out their regular work to spot offenders.

Britain is predicted to continue enjoying the unseasonably warm weather until Saturday, when temperatures are likely to return to normal.