ARMED Police and the police helicopter were mobilised after reports of gunshots in West Dorset.

Bridport Police Inspector Mike Darby said police received numerous calls of gunshots being heard in the area of Allington Hill.

A witness reported seeing two young men with a rucksack and apparently discharging a firearm. Shouts were also heard, he said.

He said: “We had a number of calls about the sound of gunshots on Saturday night in that area.

“Two men were seen going into the woods with a rucksack, one of them apparently seen discharging a firearm.

“We didn’t have anything on our shooting log – when people are going hunting we advise them to call us and tell us so when we get calls like this we are aware.

“We didn’t have that so an armed response vehicle and a helicopter was tasked.

“One person had seen two men with a rucksack looking like they had a firearm.

“Police did attend and having searched the area on Saturday night but nothing was found.

“What we do advise if people are legitimately hunting that they contact us on 101 to tell us simply because if we do get calls from concerned members of the public we can reassure them that lawful activity is taking place.

“But be aware if you don’t contact us then our default position to calls of people with guns is to send officers with firearms.

“Our reaction will be to send armed response units and local units.”

He said the police do get calls about poaching and they would be dealt with too.

Insp Darby added: “We take allegations of that nature very seriously.

“If we do catch people poaching we will use whatever legislation we can to bring them justice.”