REPORTS that a man had been stabbed in the head triggered a major search operation involving armed police officers in Poole yesterday afternoon.

Two armed response units and a Dorset police dog handler were sent to the Bourne Valley area, near the railway viaduct.

The alarm was raised at 1.40 pm following reports that an injured man had been spotted walking along Bourne Valley Road, near the Surrey Road junction.

But the search was called off after no trace of either the casualty, or the weapon involved in the reported incident, were found.

The road was open while the search took place near a busy roundabout but the sight of armed officers caused inquisitive motorists to slow down.

A Dorset police spokeswoman told the Daily Echo: “We received a phone call from a member of the public to say a man, who looked like he had suffered a serious head injury, was walking along Bourne Valley Road.

“We were told the injury was possibly the result of an assault with a bladed weapon. As a result of that call armed officers attended the scene and carried out an extensive search of the area.”

She added: “Checks were made at local hospitals to find out if the injured man had been admitted for treatment and we also contacted the ambulance service. But he has still not been located and no complaint of an assault has been received.

“No arrests have been made and we have no idea where the injured man has gone. It’s a mystery.”