It's been another busy year for Basingstoke's police officers. From lockdown restrictions to combating county lines, the boys and girls in blue have had their work cut out.

And there's been plenty of crime to keep us at The Gazette busy reporting on.

Here, we take a look at some of the police incidents that shocked Basingstoke in 2021.

1. Popley house party

In January 2021, the country was thrust back into another lockdown after the Alpha variant took hold. But apparently the news didn't get through to one Popley household, as police were called to report of a party in Guernsey Close on January 16.

Police were forced to break up a house party in January after one of the attendees said they didnt know about Covid because they dont watch the news.

Police were forced to break up a 'house party' in January after one of the attendees said they didn't know about Covid because they don't watch the news.

Officers broke up the party, speaking to four people who did not live at the address. One of them told officers that they were not aware of Covid because they do not watch the news.

The Gazette later revealed the man who hosted the party was Aaron Harkness, and after he failed to pay a fixed penalty notice, he was fined £1,046 in a case at Aldershot Magistrates' Court.

2. A33 horse and trap racing

At the start of May, a large group of people descended on the A33 near Micheldever to take part in horse and trap racing.

Hundreds of people from the traveller community descended to take part in the event, blocking the road for multiple hours on Saturday and Sunday. Police were forced to close the road as they found themselves outnumbered.

A33 closed in May because of horse and trap racing.

A33 closed in May because of horse and trap racing.

Security guards and police were also called to the Crowne Plaza hotel to help manage part of what is believed to be the same group.

Intelligence suggested repeat events were planned for further weekends, and a large police presence saw the road protected.

3. Buckland Avenue double murder

In June, the town was left in shock when husband and wife Geoffrey and Michelle Hibbert were killed in Buckland Avenue.

The pair were found dead in the early hours of Father's Day, and police officers flocked to the scene as a double murder investigation was opened.

The road was shut for days as national media descended on Basingstoke.

A double murder probe was launched after two people were killed on Buckland Avenue in June.

A double murder probe was launched after two people were killed on Buckland Avenue in June.

Tributes were pouring in for the pair when Stanley Elliot, of Sherborne St John, was charged with their murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

4. Animal Rebellion protest

A month earlier, Basingstoke had found itself at the centre of another national media storm as scores of Animal Rebellion protestors descended on the McDonald's distribution centre in Houndmills.

Animal Rebellion block the McDonalds distribution depot in Houndmills, Basingstoke on Saturday morning..Animal Rebellion barricade four McDonalds distribution centres affecting supplies to 1,300 UK branches using trucks and bamboo structures at the

Animal Rebellion block the McDonald's distribution depot in Houndmills, Basingstoke on Saturday morning..Animal Rebellion barricade four McDonald's distribution centres affecting supplies to 1,300 UK branches using trucks and bamboo structures at the

They were calling on the fast-food chain to make their menu meat-free by 2025 by blockading the four Martin Brower depots it uses.

Wooden structures were erected in the early hours of the morning, and as the sun set that evening, specialist police officers moved in and started making arrests.

Eight people were charged but the case was later dropped by prosecutors.

5. Counter-terror raid in Rooksdown

A quiet cul-de-sac in Rooksdown became the centre of a counter-terror probe in September as armed officers swooped in.

The bomb squad searched the property in Penny Black Lane for hours on September 9, a day after a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm without a certificate.

Residents of Mailing Way in Rooksdown have said that police began arriving around 11am this morning.

Residents of Mailing Way in Rooksdown have said that police began arriving around 11am this morning.

Simon Tustain, son of Basingstoke councillor Jacky, denied the charge of possessing the antique pistol. He is due to stand trial in February.