NINE people have been charged following raids carried out at homes across the country concerning suspected animal rights extremism.

A further 20 people - including a 25-year-old woman from Gosport - have now been released on police bail and one other released without charge.

Police are also continuing to quiz two suspects and have been granted a 36-hour extension by magistrates.

Adrian Leppard, assistant chief constable of Kent Police, said the police operation was going well and searches of properties in Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Greater London, Lancashire, Merseyside, Northumbria, Worcestershire, Yorkshire and South Wales are now complete.

The seven people charged with conspiracy to blackmail were all bailed to appear before Portsmouth Magistrates' Court on May 15.

They are Daniel Amos, 20, and Gerrah Selby, 19, of Aldershot Road, Church Crookham, Hampshire, and Linus Harrison, 21, and Grace Quantock, 19, of Tanhouse Lane, Wokingham, Berkshire.

Also facing the charge is Stephen Barclay, 50, of caravan park, Redbridge Hollow, Oxford, Gavin Medd-Hall, 44, of Selwood Road, Croydon, Surrey, and Daniel Wadham, 20, of Brynmair, Aberdare, South Wales.

The two facing a charge of blackmail are Dianne Jamieson, 59, of Lytham Road, Ashton-on-Ribble, Lancashire, and Suzanne Jaggers, 35, of Upper Sackville St, Skipton, North Yorkshire.

Jamieson is due to appear at Preston Magistrates' Court and Jaggers at Skipton Magistrates' Court, both at dates to be set.