Three men who sparked a major police hunt have been arrested on suspicion of drug-related offences.

The Sloc Road was closed for hours on Thursday while a large open area search operation was carried out to find the occupants of a vehicle who fled the scene after it was stopped by police.

Police said three men had been arrested and released on police bail and a large quantity of class A and B drugs recovered from the search area.

A police spokesman said: ‘Further to the incident on the Sloc we are now in a position to confirm that three local men were located and arrested on suspicion of drug-related offences.

‘Following their arrest and interview, all three men were bailed from the police station pending further inquiries.

‘This was as a result of a large amount of Class A and Class B drugs seized from the area where we conducted our searches during the road closure.

‘We thank the public again for their patience whilst the road was closed.’

Police said they were not in a position to provide any further information about the weight and street value of drugs found pending testing.

The drama began just after midnight on Thursday morning when police had cause to stop a vehicle in the area.

It is understood a stinger was deployed and the suspected stolen vehicle was found stationary at the top of the Sloc.

All occupants, however, had fled the scene. There was a large police presence as a search began for the three men.

Police insisted there was no cause for alarm as there was no risk to the public but people were reminded to avoid the area.

The Sloc Road was closed between Lower Scard Farm and the Round Table junction until the early evening although officers remained to patrol the area through the night. Two of the men were arrested on Friday afternoon and the third on Saturday.