REPORTS of anti-social behaviour in East Walcot are concerning South Swindon MP Robert Buckland.
IndexWiltshire reported on Wednesday that people living in the area had spoken of a surge of anti-social behaviour in recent weeks.
On Tuesday evening a 17-year-old youth was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm when a boy of 15 was apparently injured with an axe in the Subway at Sussex Place.
One man told IndexWiltshire he had seen a youth with a knife in Sussex Place the night before.
Mr Buckland said: “I have been in contact with local residents and Wiltshire Police this week about this issue.
“I have held meetings at Buckhurst Community Centre in the recent past to discuss these issues and am keen to make sure that as many incidents as possible are reported to the police.
“I am particularly concerned to hear about problems near to the community shop, whose work I have consistently supported over many years.”
Walcot resident Roy Stephen, who was awarded a British Empire Medal by the Queen last year for his years of voluntary work in the community, said that it was unfair to cast Walcot as a “lawless area” when there are so many community-minded people living in the area who were working hard to bring people together.
Mr Stephen, who has been secretary of the community centre for last three years and a trustee for six, explained that following the hard work of committee members at the community centre last year, the area was awarded a £1,000 Aviva Community Grant to promote charity work in the area.
He said: “Yes, there are issues, but we have regular police meetings at the community centre.
“I have worked hard to raise funds for the community and the application I have made this year is at the final stages and we are hoping for an award notice from Aviva next week,” he said.
Robert Buckland MP said that he would continue to support the local community in East Walcot.
“I will continue to work closely with Roy, local residents and Wiltshire Police to tackle anti-social behaviour in Walcot,” he said.
Wiltshire Police said: “We have increased patrols in the Sussex Square area recently due to reports of anti-social behaviour in the area.
“Our officers are working hard with partner agencies to deal with a small group of individuals to solve this and hopefully provide a long term solution. We will continue to conduct hi-vis patrols.
“If anyone has any further information or can help with our enquiries please don’t hesitate to contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.”