A gang of children carrying knives, drugs and stolen bikes have been stopped by police officers carrying out a major operation near Swindon town centre.
Wiltshire Police targeted the group, who hang around in the Broadgreen area, at 4.30pm on Thursday afternoon after listening to residents’ concerns about anti-social behaviour there.
Twelve youths were stopped; during the search of some members, one was found to be carrying a homemade knife and two others were in possession of cannabis.
Eleven of the youths, with the youngest being 12-years-old, were taken home to their parents in a bid to put a stop to their behaviour.
During the stop, a 17-year-old boy was arrested when he became abusive towards police. He’s since been handed a caution for the public order offence. Two others are to be interviewed in relation to cannabis possession and another regarding the bladed article.
During a search of the area officers found an axe hidden under a planter close to the children’s play park where the gang were stopped. Two stolen bicycles were also seized from the group.
Sgt David Tippetts said: “We’ve had reports of anti-social behaviour taking place in the play park in Broadgreen and local people were getting fed up with it. This operation is the start of giving the park back to local people – it’s a park for their community.
“Everyone involved were children – not one above the age of 18 and the youngest was 12.
“The items found on some of these youths is shocking and it begs the question of parents: ‘do you know where your children are, what they’re doing and who they’re mixing with?
“Our officers spoke to the parents in an effort to try and make sure their children are safe and that they’re checking what they are doing in future.
“I hope yesterday’s operation sends a message to anyone wishing to carry out anti-social behaviour in Swindon, often affecting the lives of decent, innocent people, it won’t be tolerated.”
Don't miss out on breaking local 999 news - follow us on Facebook now: