Armed police hunting for firearms at compound near Fareham

ARMED police carried out a raid hunting for firearms in a closed-off compound on the side of a major road.

Friday, 2nd October 2020, 4:16 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd October 2020, 5:23 pm

Around a dozen police officers, including at least three firearms officers in tactical clothing and armed with automatic rifles, were part of the operation from 10.15am today.

Hampshire police confirmed they have been conducting a firearm warrant and searches at the address in Newgate Lane, Stubbington.

Officers swarmed the area, near Southern Water’s Peel Common wastewater treatment works, this morning as they executed the warrant and conducted searches.

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More than a dozen police vehicles were at the scene. Picture: Habibur Rahman

No arrests made have been made. At one point a man was taken to the rear of a police van but was then released.

Officers remain at the site, and were being inundated with questions as to when residents could return to the compound.

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Detective Inspector Abbie Leeson said: ‘Today we have conducted a firearms warrant at a location off of Newgate Lane in Fareham.

Officers spent more than four hours at the scene conducting a warrant and searches. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘Both armed and unarmed officers attended, and searches have been conducted throughout the course of the day.

‘Officers currently remain on scene and may remain there overnight.

‘We want to reassure the community that we take any concerns around the use of prohibited firearms very seriously, and we will endeavour to update you with more information when we are in a position to do so.’

A resident of the compound, who asked not to be named, said police had ‘come barging in’ at 4am.

Police in Newgate Lane, Fareham. Picture: Habibur Rahman

He said: ‘We were trying to sleep and they broke down the door.’

The compound, featuring at least three wooden building and a a number of static mobile homes, is understood to have been bought and occupied two years ago.

Groups of new occupants arrived in the last six months, The News understands.

At least three armed police were seen within the compound. Picture: Habibur Rahman

A woman from Portchester who keeps three horses in a nearby field said she has previously heard sounds of shotgun blasts.

The 64-year-old said: ‘I try to stay out of there way.’

A couple who live along Newgate Lane, who asked not to be named, said police arrived in silence.

One of the residents, a 58-year-old-man who has lived in the road for seven years, said: ‘We went upstairs to watch.

‘They arrived without any sirens.

‘But it must be serious if they have sent this many police.’

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