The Isle of Man Constabulary has said the Sloc road will remain closed until the people 'actively avoiding the police' are found.

The force mounted a large-scale search operation in a bid to find the occupants of a vehicle who evaded capture and fled the scene after being stopped by officers during the early hours of this morning.

The vehicle has since been recovered and the force 'strongly believe' the occupants of the vehicle are still hiding somewhere in the Sloc area.

The road remained closed for most of the day yesterday (Thursday) and a ‘large open area search’ is ongoing following the incident.

Police confirmed they were searching for a number of unknown people thought to be inside the vehicle at the time it was stopped.

Despite the search, the force insisted there was no cause for alarm as there was no risk to the public but people have been reminded to avoid the area.

An update on the situation was given in a statement issued online by the Isle of Man constabulary on Thursday evening said: 'As we continue to hold the road closure in place in the area of The Sloc in the south of the island, we can now confirm that at approximately 00.10am this morning, Thursday 26th October 2023, officers had cause to stop a vehicle in this area.

'However, during attempts to stop this vehicle it made off from officers before being located at the top of the Sloc stationary with all occupants decanted from the vehicle.

'A road closure was put in place to contain the area whilst a number of Officers could conduct systematic searches to locate them. At this time we strongly believe the occupants of the vehicle to still be in the area currently contained by the road closure.

'We can confirm the vehicle in question was not involved in a collision at any point, therefore we believe the occupants to be uninjured but are continuing to actively avoid the Police.

'We will continue to hold the road closure in place until the occupants of the vehicle are located.

'We apologise for any inconvenience to the public and would ask that the public still avoid the area.

'We would encourage the public not to attend this area to help with the search as we have the appropriate trained officers working to locate these persons.

'We can confirm there is no risk to the public and would again encourage the public not to speculate.'