City divided on what to do amid reports of gangs and drug dealing

REPORTS of anti-social behavior and drug dealing in Moredon have led to complaints about similar issues in other parts of the borough.

After Adver covered a public meeting that sought to find solutions to issues that have plagued worried neighbors for the past few weeks, our readers came up with their own ideas.

Claire Barnes claimed that Blunsdon St Andrew faced the same bad behavior from young people, Caroline Cabrita highlighted the town center problems and Ruth Kiddle spoke about the problems in West Swindon.

She added: “The drug trade goes on everywhere. Knocking on doors and windows at 1am is also bad.”

Kay Gilbert said Eldene had seen several examples of anti-social behavior and suggested, “Bring back national service, it will separate the men from the boys.”

Martha Ellen said: “I think the question we should be asking is why do they turn to gangs, why do they turn to trafficking, why do they turn to violence?

“You can’t just treat the problem and hope it stops. You have to dig it up from the root cause.”

At the Moredon meeting, people discussed how to stop bored young people from resorting to these anti-social and illegal activities with suggestions such as youth clubs and activities.

Others have called for harsher sentences. James Higgins complained that “all they get is a slap on the wrist” and Darran Broderick expressed his views.

He said: “There needs to be a much tougher approach. If they live in a local authority home with their parents, cancel their tenancy if they can’t control the children. There’s no accountability.

“These teenagers would not go to youth clubs even if they still existed. There is no single answer to fix this problem, but if nothing is done soon, we will only see serious crime increase .”

Rob Mashford added: “I can’t go anywhere without the stink of cannabis. It’s not even hidden, they just know they won’t get caught or nothing will happen.”

Colin Seager asked, “What’s the point if they get caught, the lawyers will get them out pleading drug addiction or mental health issues or if they have family issues?”

Police have urged people to contact them on 101 or to report concerns which will help officers target offenders. On Thursday, PC Gibbs and PC Dyer went on patrol to West Swindon and Westlea to follow up on the tips.

A spokesperson said: “We targeted these areas due to reports of anti-social behavior and drug-related activity, spoke to several members of the public and reassured them.”

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