Press Release: Cllr. Kim Power – Mayor of Malmesbury and Cllr. Gavin Grant – Deputy Mayor of Malmesbury and Wiltshire Councillor for Malmesbury
Following the arson attack on Malmesbury Abbey last week, an Anti Social Behaviour meeting was held yesterday (Wednesday 8 June) attended by Wiltshire Police, the Town Council Mayor, Town Clerk and leading Councillors, Malmesbury's Wiltshire Councillor and representatives of Malmesbury School and the business community.
At the meeting, Inspector James Brain outlined the actions already being taken by Wiltshire Police and some new strategies moving forward.
The meeting was chaired by Malmesbury Mayor, Cllr Kim Power. She said:
"We welcome the news today that the Police have arrested an individual in connection with the fire started at Malmesbury Abbey last week. The whole town was appalled and sickened by this arson attack. However, too much vandalism and damage has happened in too many places in Malmesbury and is still ongoing – this must stop!
We are very proud of our town’s young people and so are extremely disappointed by the mindless behaviour of one small, destructive group, who are allegedly behind the repeated ASB and vandalism. We understand that they are known to the police and we have been assured they are being dealt with through the Police’s official process.
Sadly, it appears that there may be other young people who are 'hangers on' and so the clear message for them is to step away from these ring leaders and not to participate in any destructive behaviour. If anyone needs help to do that and you want to contact me, then please send me a private message (PM) on Facebook and I will point you to where assistance is available.
Further measures are also being put in place to deal with this unacceptable situation.
Malmesbury Town Council is fast tracking installing CCTV to provide better protection in key locations. We are working together with the Police and others on some new strategies involving residents, businesses and community groups, to assist the Police to put an end to these incidents. These will be announced in due course.
Reporting to the Police is very important. If you are a witness to or a victim of ASB or vandalism, then please report it on 101. ”
Malmesbury Wiltshire Councillor Gavin Grant, who also chairs the local Community Safety Forum and Local Youth Network, said after the meeting, "Malmesbury is a terrific place to live, learn, work and visit. We want to keep it that way and will not be stopped from doing so by the antics of a handful of moronic people.
"The fact that so many senior representatives of different organisations have come together so quickly after the Abbey fire says that we agree that 'enough is enough'.
"By working more closely together and identifying what each of us can do, including those not present with us today, we will deliver our action plan to tackle this issue. I will play my part in doing that."