Man with a plank of wood arrested on suspicion of Affray

At approximately 4.30pm yesterday afternoon (2 August), Wiltshire Police received a number of 999 calls reporting a man acting suspiciously in the area of Nationwide Headquarters in Pipers Way, Swindon.

The man was reported to be trying car doors in the area and when challenged by a member of the public, he threatened him with a bottle.

The man then made off towards Old Town.

Officers attended the scene and located the man in Victoria Hill holding a piece of wood. When an officer challenged the man, he swung the piece of wood at him, narrowly missing his head. He then ran off towards Regent Circus where he again attempted to hit the officer.

The officer managed to detain the man, and he was arrested on suspicion of affray.

The 33-year-old local man was taken to Gablecross custody for questioning where he remains.

Sergeant David Tippetts said: “This incident happened at an extremely busy time of day – there was a lot of traffic in the area, as well as people leaving work at Nationwide. We have already spoken to a number of witnesses, but we are really keen to speak to any further witnesses who have not yet made contact.

“Thanks to the bravery of one of our officers who gave chase despite the man threatening him with a plank of wood and attempting to injure him, the man was arrested promptly. Fortunately, the officer did not sustain any injuries.

“We’d like to thank the members of the public who initially contacted us to report the suspicious activity.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.