Four people have been arrested after reports of a gunshot being heard.

Hampshire Constabulary says it was called at 10.33pm on Tuesday September 21 to a field near Fordingbridge.

Three men and a woman have been arrested.

A post on the Ringwood Police Facebook page said: “Armed response, dog units, NPAS (the helicopter) and New Forest response have responded and arrested three males and one female on scene.”

Ringwood and Fordingbridge Neighbourhood Policing Team and CountryWatch officers also helped with carrying out searches.

Police say a 24-year-old man from Lymington, an 18-year-old man from Dorset, a 19-year-old woman from Dorset and a 17-year-old boy from Dorset were arrested on suspicion of trespassing on land with a firearm.

They have been released on conditional bail until October 20 while officers continue their enquiries.

Hampshire Constabulary’s Rural Policing Inspector, Korine Bishop, said: “We are fully aware of recent incidents in the Ringwood and Fordingbridge areas concerning poaching, as well as wider incidents which have occurred previously across rural areas of the New Forest.

“Our local Neighbourhood Policing Teams and CountryWatch officers are fully committed to combatting issues such as poaching, livestock worrying and hare coursing; working closely with local landowners and partner agencies in order to do so.

"We use an intelligence led approach, and will use whatever tactics necessary to disrupt and deter criminality – including the use of drones, dedicated dog units and police helicopters where absolutely necessary.

“Rural crime is a priority for us and we will continue to relentlessly pursue suspects.

"The community are our eyes and ears and we encourage you to report all incidents as soon as you are able to – either online or via 101. If a crime is in progress, dial 999 immediately.”

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