THE leader of Wiltshire Council wants the community and police “to work together” to tackle the “ongoing issue” of antisocial behaviour (ASB) in Downton, which is leaving residents “afraid to leave their homes”.

Also councillor for Downton and Ebble Valley, Richard Clewer said work is underway to prohibit the use of catapults in the village.

Describing ASB as “an ongoing issue” for Downton, Cllr Clewer said catapult use has been part of the village and surrounding areas “for years”, with spikes in this type of offence during the summer months and the lead up to Christmas.

Last month, in a recent case of ASB, the windows of a bus passing through Downton were smashed.

Read more: Burglars use stolen car, sledgehammer and crowbars during overnight shop raids


Councillor Richard Clewer, leader of Wiltshire Council

Councillor Richard Clewer, leader of Wiltshire Council


Cllr Clewer, pictured, said that “the police and community need to work together” to bring offenders to justice, as “prosecution” is evidence that offences in the village are being dealt with.

“There is an increasing sense among the public of ‘what is the point in reporting these things if nothing is being done’, which isn’t good,” he said.

“The only way we can fix these issues is to get evidence, so it is resetting relations with police and needing people to continue reporting ASB and offences.

"We also need reassurance from police that activity is underway.

“We’ve got to be doing everything possible to get the information to police, this is a community effort.”

Cllr Clewer added he has spoken to police and crime commissioner Philip Wilkinson, “making him aware how serious these issues are”.

He said: “I want police to be aware that this is causing issues in confidence, we need to all work together.

"People are afraid to leave their homes and choose to drive everywhere, it is becoming absurd.”

According to the council leader, police have requested a Public Space Protection Order in Downton, preventing the carrying of catapults in public.

Confessing “this will not solve problems for the village”, Cllr Clewer is urging the public to continue reporting offences of any size or nature to police.

The force is conducting six consultation dates over the next 12 weeks to speak with Downton residents about ASB, police activity and what more can be done.

These will take place outside the village’s Co-op store, along The Borough, with the next session taking place on February 7, between 6pm and 7.30pm.

Get more Salisbury news

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date, as well as signing up for one of our newsletters.

If you want online news with fewer ads, unlimited access and reader rewards - plus a chance to support our local journalism - find out more about registering or a digital subscription.

Email with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.