There has been a lot of petty vandalism and antisocial behaviour in the park recently and we need your help to make it stop.
In the park, the damage has been restricted largely to the woods; trees have been ring barked, pulled over, and cut down. Somebody has been trying to replace the ash poles that were burned, with branches that they have cut from the trees in the clearing.
In the woods at the top of Village Green there are hiding places where youngsters, probably bored school-age children, meet; the litter they leave behind includes beer and cider cans, and nitrous oxide canisters. We are worried because the damage they do and the antisocial behaviour seems to be escalating; there has been an incident of indecent exposure.
Last weekend, the problem spilled into Hope Nature Centre; the fence was broken down, equipment in the children’s playground was damaged and the picnic tables broken. The Centre’s cows either escaped or were driven out into the park, from where they eventually made their way to the road. The next night, the perpetrators returned with cans of red paint and sprayed tags on walls, fences and equipment.
From their Facebook page: Hope Nature Centre 29 June at 19:01
“Sadly this morning the Hope Nature Centre was victim to vandals. As well as damage caused around the park, they also put the lives of our three Dexter Cows at risk by damaging our perimeter fence and letting the cows out onto the Southwick Country Park. We are pleased to report that the animals were returned to the park without injury.”
Trowbridge Police posted this to their Facebook page on Thursday:
Following concerns regarding an increase in vandalism and anti-social behaviour at Southwick Country Park and Hope Nature Centre, officers from Trowbridge Neighbourhood Team met with various stakeholders to discuss the issues and ways to combat them. This is a fantastic resource for the town and it’s such a shame the actions of a few are spoiling it for the many. There will be an increased police presence in the area in order to try and tackle those responsible.
If you see antisocial behaviour or vandalism, please report it as soon as you can either to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or to the police. Southwick’s Police Community Support Officer is Mat Till; his email address is Matthew.Till@wiltshire.pnn.police.uk. He is a member of Community Policing Team 1, which can be contacted on 101 ext 36337 or on 07471029309. In an emergency, of course, always ring 999.
PCSO Mat says that photographs will really help identify the people who are doing this, with the proviso, of course, that nobody is to put themselves in any kind of danger just to take a photograph. Useful intelligence is made up of many small details: don’t think that what you have seen is too insignificant to report. Let’s swamp PCSO Mat with details; he will be able to sort them out into something he can act on.
The park has been a safe haven in lockdown, a contribution to the community’s welfare, and Hope Nature Centre has re-opened to the delight of many families and their children. Please help us look after these important places.