Police have heralded a successful operation after a significant presence on the A33 this weekend stopped planned horse and trap racing.

Hampshire Police deployed dozens of resources to the road between Basingstoke and Winchester over the course of the weekend, including drafting in officers from Sussex, after intelligence suggested unauthorised horse and trap racing was planned.

It comes after the traveller community held an event in early May, which forced police to close the road to protect motorists.

During the operation across June 19-20, two karts used in horse and trap racing were seized and three people dispersed using a county-wide order put in place/

Hampshire Constabulary also confirmed that no racing "or associated criminality" has taken place.

Chief Superintendent Paul Bartolomeo said that this was "the best possible outcome for the local community".

He continued: “We are grateful to the community for their support, as well as our partners who helped in the careful management of this operation.

“Two sulky traps were seized by police on Sunday and three individuals were subject to Section 35 dispersal orders, however no racing or associated criminality has taken place.

"We’re pleased the operation has been carried out without any disruption to the road network in Hampshire, which is the best possible outcome for the local community.

“However, please be reassured that this does not mean that we are in any way being complacent.

“This situation will be monitored longer term, and we will continue to gather intelligence and work with the community moving forward.

"This is to ensure that we can prevent any potential future disruption to the road network in Hampshire, and robustly deal with any identified offences.”

Officers also cracked down on other unrelated driving offences, including one drug driver, three drink drivers, one "motorist dealt with for drugs offences" and five uninsured driver.

One man, wanted by police for failing to appear at court, was also dealt with.

Meanwhile, Donna Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner who was elected after the initial racing and pledged the same disruption would not happen again, said: “A huge thank you and well done must be attributed to Hampshire Constabulary for the successful operation at the weekend on the A33.

"This is a key ‘A’ road in the centre of Hampshire and the illegal activities last month from the GRT community which saw them close the road for pony trap racing and illegal gambling, affected thousands of people who live in the area.

"A follow up event was planned for this weekend, and as a consequence, Hampshire Constabulary took appropriate and necessary measures to keep the road open and the public safe.

"Thank you to all involved including neighbouring forces who sent mutual aid. I continue to support their work in preventing any similar future events.”

Winchester MP Steve Brine, whose constituency covers the Micheldever area and visited the police on site on Saturday, said: “I wanted to thank Hampshire Police, and colleagues from Sussex who came to help, for a visible and consistent presence - and patrol - this weekend to prevent a repeat of any illegal pony and trap racing.

"To be clear, the police are in this for the long haul and this is being watched like hawks. We promised to grip this and greatly helped by the leadership of new PCC Donna Jones we have done just that."