FOUR MEN have been fined £400 for poaching from the River Test.

They were each given a £100 fine and had their fishing equipment seized.

The men had been illegally fishing near the Mayfly Pub, on the A3057 north of Leckford.

When confronted by a river keeper the men originally from the Slough area ran away during the incident on May 22.

However, just minutes later police officers stopped their car and fined them.

Three other suspicious vehicles were pulled over during a ten-hour operation to crack down on crime in the Test Valley the same day.

Hampshire police, twenty river keepers and officers from the Environment Agency had been working to combat poaching, hare coursing, non-residential burglaries, and rural crime.

PC Ian Bassett, from the force's Country Watch specialist rural crime team, said: "This demonstrates the huge value of working in partnership with other agencies and our local landowners and river keepers.

"As well as our colleagues from Roads Policing Unit and the Romsey and Stockbridge Neighbourhood Teams, this operation was fantastically assisted by enforcement officers from the Environment Agency and the river keepers.

"We successfully disrupted illegal activity on the river and this type of operation will continue. We want to send a message that we are out there on patrol and we will robustly target suspicious vehicles and people."

"The community are our eyes and ears and we encourage you to report all incidents as soon as you can. If it’s happening there and then, always call 999."