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Thu 23 Feb 2017

Westbury Yobs

Christine Holt, who runs The Crown Inn in Market Place, is fed up with yobs running riot in the square, which she described as “the Wild West” every Friday and Saturday night.

 

In the early hours of Saturday morning, after closing at midnight, two of the pub’s windows were smashed and had to be boarded up before being replaced on Wednesday afternoon.

 

 

Mrs Holt said: “When the pubs kick out on Saturday night it’s like the Wild West in Market Place.

 

“This is just another case of mindless vandalism which has a hugely detrimental impact on a pub such as ours.

 

“Every weekend it’s mayhem out there. People from the three bars congregate in the square after they close and that’s when the trouble starts.

 

“I feel sorry for people who live in the area. It can be really loud and quite intimidating I’m sure.

 

“I know police are very stretched at the moment but it’s clear there needs to be more of a presence there late at night on weekends or the problems will continue.”

 

The Crown Inn is adjacent to late-night venue Charlie’s Sports Bar and just down the road from the Ludlow Arms.

 

Westbury councillor Ian Cunningham said: “We don’t have a lot of trouble in Westbury compared to lots of other towns but Market Place has always been a hotspot, so it is a concern of mine.

 

“It would be great to have more of police presence there on Friday and Saturday but with limited resources it’s not that easy. They cover a vast area and have to prioritise the incidents which put people at most danger.”

 

Police are still investigating a weeknight incident just off Westbury Market Place, when a man climbed through the window of a house and sexually assaulted a woman a fortnight ago.

 

This week a spokesman said: “Wiltshire Police has not received an increase in reports of crime from members of the public in relation to the Market Place in recent weeks, nor has the force received any requests for a heightened police presence over weekends to deal with night time economy.

 

 

"If residents, businesses or councillors have concerns we would encourage them to speak to their local Community Policing Team in the first instance.

 

"In the past three weeks, we have had two incidents in the Market Place and surrounding area reported to us on the weekends – one driving incident and the incident in which pub windows were smashed.

 

“Prior to this there was only one incident of criminal damage to a motor vehicle in the area.

 

“We’d like to reassure residents that Westbury remains a safe place to live, work and socialise in.

 

“However, police will increase patrols in areas where it is felt there is an ongoing problem and will continue to engage with the local community as much as possible and welcome feedback from the public.”

REPORT - ROBIN MURRAY - WTIMES