Shot was reportedly fired from unauthorised travellers camp next to Campion Hills circuit in Royal Leamington Spa

Police in Warwickshire have been alerted to an incident in which a cyclist riding at an off-road mountain bike and BMX track in Leamington Spa was shot with a pellet fired from an air rifle.

The pellet was reportedly fired last Thursday from an unauthorised travellers encampment sett up adjacent to the circuit last week.

Warwick Lanterne Rouge Cycling Club tweeted a picture of the injury to the rider, who is a member of Royal Leamington Spa Cycling Club.

In a reply to that tweet from the @WarwickPolice account, a Police Sergeant Kitson said: “Disgusted to read this, what is essentially an assault on a member of public with a firearm.

“I'm hoping the cyclist called us on 999 at the time, if not please can this be rung in asap, a control room Inspector will review the incident.”

It was subsequently confirmed by Warwick Lanterne Rouge Cycling Club that the rider had indeed notified police at the time.

In response to a Twitter user who said, “No point tagging police, they won’t do anything,” Sergeant Kitson replied: “Called in to our control room at the time of on 999, it would have been assessed & I'd expect it to have been attended as Grade 1, which is immediate. It's erroneous to state this would not be taken seriously.”

The incident happened the day after the Leamington Observer reported that travellers who are believed to have moved on from Stratford-upon-Avon had set up an encampment at Campion Hills.

It added that police officers and council officials had been due to visit the site last Wednesday.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.