A GROUP of four people have been released under investigation after being arrested in connection with a break-in at a solar farm in Overton.

On Thursday 2 November at around 7.30pm, police officers were called to a report of a break-in at a solar farm in the Kingsclere Road area of Overton.

As they arrived, a Transit-style van left the farm and officers followed it for around 25 miles before it stopped in Monks Way, Eastleigh.

A 54-year-old man from Offenham, Worcestershire, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a burglary other than a dwelling with intent to steal, and failing to stop.

Officers also arrested a 17-year-old boy from Yateley, a 22-year-old man and a 27-year-old man, who are both from Gloucestershire, on Friday 3 November in connection with this incident.

All four have since been released under investigation.

The operation was carried out in response to concerns raised about rural crime such as theft and poaching.

A number of gamekeepers and landowners were spoken to by the police and crime prevention advice was issued to help protect against further incidents.

As well as country watch officers, the operation involved officers from the joint operations unit, Basingstoke neighbourhood policing team and the roads policing unit.

Sergeant Andy Williams from the country watch team, said: “We know how devastating illegal activities, such as theft and poaching, can be to rural communities, and we regularly carry out operations targeting those who seek to benefit illegally from other people’s livelihoods.

“To help us, people in rural communities can report anything suspicious they have seen by calling 101 – or 999 if a crime is in progress. This is vital – if we don’t know about an incident or suspicious activity, then we cannot do something about it.”

For further information on rural crime, including crime prevention advice, go to hampshire.police.uk/advice/protecting-your-business/rural-crime.

Anyone who was in the Kingsclere Road area of Overton at around 7.35pm on Thursday 2 November, is being urged to call 101, quoting the crime reference number 44170427416 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.