CCTV plans after ‘appalling’ Malmesbury Abbey arson

Plans to tackle anti-social behaviour in Malmesbury by installing CCTV cameras are to be fast-tracked following last week’s arson attack at the Abbey.

A 16-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of starting last Friday night’s fire, the latest in a long line of acts of vandalism in the town. 

READ MORE: Teenager arrested on suspicion of Malmesbury Abbey arson

Plans to address the issue were laid out on Wednesday at a meeting involving police, councillors, and representatives of Malmesbury School and the business community.

Malmesbury mayor Kim Power, who chaired the meeting, said: “The whole town was appalled and sickened by this arson attack. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

“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 vandalism. 

“We understand that they are known to the police and 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 on Facebook and I will point you to where assistance is available.”

Malmesbury Town Council says it will fast-track the installation of CCTV cameras to provide better protection in key locations, although details of where they will be placed are yet to be announced.

New strategies involving residents, businesses and community groups working together to assist the police to put an end to these incidents are also being worked on. 

Anyone who witnesses or is a victim of ASB or vandalism is asked to report it on 101.

‘A handful of moronic people’

Gavin Grant, Wiltshire councillor for Malmesbury, 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, we will deliver our action plan to tackle this issue. I will play my part in doing that.”

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