Large groups of youths riding bicycles have been stopped at various locations in the East Swindon area as Wiltshire Police crackdown on gang crime and anti-social behaviour.
Officers swarmed areas of the town whilst the National Police Air Service helicopter searched overhead, mainly circling over Old Walcot, Walcot, Park North, Park South and Lawns. A dispersal order in place means a large police presence as officers work to move the groups on.
At just after 2pm, a number of police vehicles stopped in Drakes Way in order to nab a group. Stop and searches of the males were carried out, with at least one being arrested.
Following the arrest, a police officer could be seen carrying a metal pole – which appeared to be the handlebar segment of a scooter – measuring around 60 centimetres (23 inches) in length, possibly being carried as a makeshift weapon.
“For the second evening in a row, we are currently dealing with a number of incidents of criminality and anti-social behaviour in and around the Walcot, Park North and Park South areas predominantly involving children and teenagers”, Police Sergeant Richard Fay said.
Adding: “A dispersal order has been put in place using section 35 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This gives police the power to disperse those whose behaviour is contributing to or is likley to contribute to anti-social behaviour (ASB), crime or disorder in the Walcot, Park North and Park South area.
“Those who do not disperse risk being arrested. We are doing all we can to minimise the impact that these individials are having on the community, however the parents/guardians of these children are equally responsible for preventing their children becoming involved in ASB/criminality.
“If your child is out and about playing, find out where they are and who they are with. If they are hanging around in large groups or acting in an anti-social manner, they may find themselves in custody by then end of the night. We certainly do not want to criminalise young people, however we have to balance this against the impact that individuals are having on the local community.”
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