A suspected animal rights activist was arrested by detectives during a dawn raid.

Sarah Whitehead, 50, was detained by counter-extremism officers at her home in Thorncroft Road, Littlehampton yesterday.

The raid, led by Hampshire Police but also involving officers from Sussex and the National Extremism Tactical Co-Ordination unit, also involved two arrests being made in Gosport, Hants.

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Police said: "Police have today arrested three people in the latest stage of an ongoing operation targeting animal rights extremism across the UK.

"Warrants were executed at two addresses this morning, one at Gosport in Hampshire, and at Littlehampton in Sussex.

"A 24-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman were arrested at a house in Alver Road, Gosport. They have been taken into custody at a police station in Hampshire.

"A 50-year-old woman was arrested at a house in Thorncroft Road, Littlehampton. She has been taken into custody at a police station in Sussex.

"Searches of both properties are ongoing.

"The arrests today are the latest phase of Operation Achilles, a regional police operation, and involved officers from Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Thames Valley and Surrey."

All of the arrests made previously under Operation Achilles have been in connection with animal rights activism aimed at Huntingtdon Life Sciences, the pharmaceuticals research firm.