POLICE have arrested six people understood to be found stowed away in the back of a lorry in Winchester.

Four men and two children were arrested for suspected immigration offences on Friday morning.

The Home Office confirmed the men, who were Iranian, were aged between 32 and 54.

It added the youngsters will be passed into the care of social services.

A spokesman said: "Immigration Enforcement was contacted by Hampshire Police at about 5.45am after police officers attended an incident on the A34 at Winchester.

"The Home Office will progress the cases of all six people in accordance with immigration rules.

"Where someone has no right to remain in the UK, we will take action to remove them.

Winchester mayor Jane Rutter said she was "shocked" by the news, adding: "It is just a tragedy that people feel so desperate that they do these things to get out of the situation they are facing in their home countries.

"The border officials are doing their job - we have borders and we need to police them.

"I think this is a human tragedy that we should all feel desperately sorry about."