The quick thinking actions of officers have saved an elderly man who had fallen down a steep hill while looking for his lost dog.

Wiltshire Police received a call shortly before 8pm on Sunday from a member of the public with a report of a dog found in Roundway Hill, in Devizes.

Officers decided to investigate after running the home telephone number found on the dog’s tag through the police database and discovering the owner was a 70-year-old local man.

Police attended the man’s home address but there was no answer and neighbours did not know where he was.

Officers from the Devizes Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) and the Trowbridge and HQ Response hubs then went to Roundway Hill where the dog was initially found to search for the owner.

The police helicopter was also dispatched to help with the search.

The man was eventually found at 9.30pm, having fallen down a gully where he had been trapped for several hours. He was then led to safety by officers and checked over by paramedics on the scene who found he had sprained his hip and had bruising and swelling to his feet.

Inspector Dave Eddy said: “This man was safely recovered with only minor injuries, but if it were not for the initial attentiveness of the emergency operators and the hard work of many operational officers, this man would have at least suffered a cold, dark and potentially wet night trapped at the bottom of a steep hill in an unpopulated area.

“It could have easily ended with much more tragic circumstances.

“It really was an all round team effort, but I will be nominating several members of staff for recognition regarding this incident, in particular Sergeant James Brain for co-ordinating resources, PC Andy List as the initial officer at scene, PC Pete Lawson and PCSO Nina Marsh who located the male and the telephone operators for controlling resources.”