More than 100 country people raised their concerns about rural matters in the Basingstoke, Winchester and Hart districts.

Last week, the local community was given a chance to voice their opinions and discuss ongoing issues in the surrounding areas, at Candover Valley Club in Brown Candover, near Alresford.

Basingstoke Rural Police Sergeant Martyn Evans said: “I would like to thank everyone for attending the meeting on Friday. More than 100 people were in attendance and so many people were willing to speak so passionately about rural issues they are facing. This gives me huge confidence in just how supportive the local community are.

“Our officers take rural crime very seriously, as the impacts on the livelihoods of those affected can be devastating. But I want to stress that we are committed to solving the issues that you face and our teams are in this for the long term.”

Numerous matters were raised, with the main concerns being the recent rise in trespassing and poaching.

Sgt Evans said: “What I ask of you is that if it does not feel right, it usually is not, so please report it. If it is a live poaching incident, dial 999 and tell the operator that you would like to report an ‘Operation Galileo offence’.

“Never place yourself in harm’s way. If there is a break in to property or an immediate threat to individual or public safety you must dial 999. Try your best to put yourself in a position of safety, observe and update the call taker.”

He added: “We are more determined than ever to arrest, prosecute and make life as uncomfortable as possible for those trying to blight the rural community.”

Due to the high numbers of attendees, officers will be looking to a host another meeting in the next couple of months.