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Residents demand police take action against car vandals

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RESIDENTS of Dorset Crescent are calling for action to be taken to stop incidents of vehicle vandalism in the area.

During the festive period, three cars on Dorset Crescent were vandalised on 29th December, causing ‘hundreds of pounds worth of damage’. Residents say that other cars on surrounding roads close to Dorset Crescent were also vandalised that day.

Other recent reports of car vandalism occurred on 17th December on Sarum Avenue; 29th December in Melksham House car park; and 4th January on Hawthorn Road and Bath Road, Seend.

The incidents follow on from other spates of car vandalism reported in 2018 and 2019 across Melksham and surrounding villages –  and Dorset Crescent residents say that not enough is being done by the police, leaving them feeling ‘unsafe’ and in fear that the incidents will ‘escalate’.

However, police have said that their crime statistics show that there has not been a spike in car vandalism incidents.

Residents say, “We need a visible police presence on our streets, an officer on the beat. Police in schools educating youths on the consequences of their actions to themselves and their victims – this could also be a good recruitment drive.

“We need Melksham residents, with the police, local MP, councillors, and parents, to discuss action plans and how we go forward.

“We need affordable facilities for the youths, such as youth clubs, bowling etc, to keep them off the streets and help to stop youths making wrong choices for entertainment. If all else fails, a youth curfew and hold parents to account.”

About the reports of vandalism on Dorset Crescent, Neighbourhood officer PC Lee Pelling told Melksham News, “On the 29th December the police received three reports of criminal damage to motor vehicles in Dorset Crescent. 

“At around 6.30pm three youths were seen in the area before making off after being disturbed. Currently we have no description of the youths and enquiries are ongoing. We are keen to receive any information from members of the public regarding the incidents and CCTV opportunities. Please quote incident number 54190128110.”

About the claims that there has been a spate of car vandalism incidents across Melksham, PC Pelling added, “There is nothing to suggest there has been a spate of car vandalism across Melksham or in the surrounding villages, and any other reported incidents are being dealt with as entirely separate and isolated crimes, some of which have other known factors, including neighbour disputes or domestic issues.

“We routinely analyse our crime statistics and nothing has shown a spike in car vandalism.

“However, we would always urge people to report crimes to us and encourage our communities to speak to the police to raise concerns they may have.

“There are a number of ways you can do this – you can contact your local community policing team by emailing Trowbridge AreaCPT@wiltshire .pnn.police.uk, find the details of your local PCSO or neighbourhood police officers via our website, or you can attend any of the community surgeries or meetings we hold, including the town council and area board meetings.

“If you wish to report a crime, please either call us on 101, or 999 in an emergency.”

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