A MYSTERIOUS stash of guns and weapons have been seized in Hampshire - but police are refusing to say where they are from.

The haul includes rifles, a handgun, a crossbow and a machete and is being held by Hampshire Constabulary and it is understood that some of the items were recovered by officers in the Southampton Priority Crime Focus Team.

But the police refused to specify where the air rifles came from or give any details on how they came into the police's possession.

Hampshire police said: "The property featured was recovered by officers on the Southampton Priority Crime Focus Team and are believed to have been stolen from owners across the New Forest and Dorset areas in 2014/2015.

"Do you recognise these items?"

However, when questioned by the Daily Echo the police refused to say where specifically the air rifles had come from, when they were taken, if they were taken at the same time or what lead to the police taking them.

The air rifles were seized as part of operation Guzzi 2, but it is not clear what the mysterious police operation involves or what it hopes to achieve.

Air weapons can be classed as a firearm, a lethal barrelled weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet or any other missile can be discharged.

Hampshire Police's Flickr social media page also shows hundreds of items of jewellery and other household items which police have seized during a number of operations.

This includes a digital camera, tool kits, and a number of necklaces, watches and earrings.

Being shot with an air rifle can cause serious wounds, and as reported by the Daily Echo in December last year a 38-year-old man from Chandler's Ford suffered serious chest injuries after being hit by an air rifle pellet.

A 25-year-old man from Eastleigh was arrested by police on suspicion of assault and the victim was rushed to Southampton General Hospital for treatment.

In October 2015, pensioner Ronald Sims was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal after shooting a cat in the eye with an air rifle in Dibden Purlieu, blinding the animal.

The 75-year-old was handed a 14-week sentence suspended for two years and ordered to pay £1,334.45 in fines at Southampton Magistrates Court.

Anyone who recognises any of the property is asked to call police on 101 and officers say strict checks regarding proof of ownership will be required.