Armed police patrolled a road leading to a play area in Petersfield last week amid sightings of a man with an air weapon.

A helicopter circled while police conducted patrols around Paddock Way following an emergency call last Wednesday evening.

There were no further sightings and no weapon was located, prompting some residents to query the deployment of armed police with children and families watching nervously nearby.

Hampshire Police say the public’s safety is their top priority and that firearms officers are deployed as standard whenever there is a report of a weapon, despite the call likely being a false alarm.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Police said: “Officers attended and commenced a thorough search of the area, but there were no further sightings of the man and no weapon was located.

“As no crime was therefore identified, the matter has now been closed unless any further lines of enquiry are received.”