Early intervention and safe guarding of our young people is a priority for Wiltshire Police and we are working hard to ensure that any threats to youths in our communities are tackled.
Yesterday Wiltshire Polices’ Community Tasking Team (CTT), who focus on targeting priority crime and priority offenders in Swindon, led an operation in East Swindon involving officers and staff from the Community Policing Team (CPT) to disrupt a gang of youths suspected of antisocial behaviour, graffiti and drugs offences.
This operation is part of ongoing work with other agencies including Swindon Borough Council and the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) to highlight vulnerable young people or those at risk of being involved in criminal activity.
A group of eight youths were located, all were aged under 18 years, five were stop searched. A 17 year old boy was arrested and subsequently charged with possession with intent to supply class A drugs (Heroin and Cocaine) and possession of class B (Cannabis). He was remanded into custody to appear at court.
The operation team took the children home and spoke to their parents/guardians highlighting our concerns and giving information on further support available.
Sgt Nigel Kinderman said: “We share the local communities concern about groups of youths in the Walcot area in particular and are actively disrupting their activities. We have had reports of intimidation, drug dealing, violence and antisocial behaviour and have increased our high visibility patrols but also are using plain clothed officers.
“Safeguarding these young people rather than criminalising them is our priority, along with partners we want to prevent them from becoming immersed in a gang culture which is likely to have serious consequences and affect their futures. However, where offences are found we will take action as with the 17 year old who was dealt with yesterday.
“There was no hostility from the group but sadly many of the youths are finding it difficult to really take on board the magnitude of the risks they are taking. We are committed to tackling this issue and with partners our operations will continue and we will keep the local community updated.”
If you have information about antisocial behaviour or drugs in your area please contact Wiltshire Police on 101. If a crime is in progress call 999.
Information can also be left anonymously via Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.