POLICE are reassuring the Trowbridge public that the town does not have a gang issue and that the spike in crime in recent weeks is not completely down to the infamous BA14 crew.

Residents have taken to social media voicing their fears that crime rates in Trowbridge are worryingly high, after a string of armed robberies, assaults and anti-social behaviour have taken place in the past month.

For the second time in two weeks, police issued a dispersal order in the town centre, from 2.30pm on Thursday to 2.30pm on Saturday, meaning officers had the power to order people suspected of causing anti-social behaviour to leave the area.

Despite this crime spree, some of which has come from the BA14 crew – thought to be made up of 20 people aged 14-20 on bikes – Sergeant James Williams says officers have made swift arrests over these incidents.

“Trowbridge does not have a gang issue. There is a very small minority of young people who have reports made against them about rising petty crime and anti social behaviour,” he said.

“With the armed robberies, the grievous bodily harm and the assaults, we made swift arrests on all of these incidents.

“We do not get reports saying, ‘’It is the BA14 crew’, we just get reports of anti-social behaviour. We treat this like any other case.

“We are working with the youth offending team and the public to nip this problem in the bud. There has been a rise in crime but we are doing everything to tackle it.

“This recent dispersal order was issued over six reports of anti social behaviour in the town centre. It is not something we want to use often but it is effective. Within 30 minutes of issuing it on Thursday, one person was given a dispersal notice and it worked.”

“There has been a recent rise in crime but we have been effective in making arrests and tackling it.”

PC Charly Chilton added: “Every officer in this station, hand on heart, will give 100 per cent in these investigations. Officers are aware of the public’s frustrations but we need people to report this to us and not just post it on social media.”

Sergeant Williams has not ruled out issuing a dispersal order again.

Posting on social media, Lynn Drewett, of Trowbridge, said: “Kids frightening people on bikes, dossers in doorways. There is no pride in our town now.”

Larry Muir, of Southwick, said: “There seem to be more and more incidents occurring which are crime related. I have grandchildren who ask if they can go to the shop or go out with their friends. Someone has to start to do something whether it’s the police or the common man.”

Marilyn Stowe said: “Yes there has been an increase. No boundaries anymore. Fewer police on the beat.”