A SERIES of attacks have resulted in some housing estate residents fearing for their safety.

Calls for parents to be held accountable for their “reckless” children come after thugs shot and killed a three-year-old cat using a catapult last week in Bemerton Heath, leaving a Hazel Close family heartbroken.

Stacey Slade and her husband Jack, both 35, said their children were "absolutely devastated" after Boots was found dead with pellets next to his body.

Salisbury Journal: Boots was shot to death.Boots was shot to death. (Image: Contributed)

The death was the latest in a recent chain of events which has seen bus stops smashed, windows broken and street lamps damaged.

Two floodlights at the Bemerton Heath Harlequins FC stadium were also shot out last Winter, costing hundreds of pounds to repair.

Club secretary Matthew McMahon said this vandalism luckily didn't impact the club's players as there were no fixtures during the period but he is "absolutely" worried about more damage being done.

Wiltshire Council will decide whether to impose a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in response to the criminal damage in the coming weeks.

This process was sparked by a spate of shootings in Bemerton Heath last summer which forced Salisbury Reds to divert its buses away from St Michael's Hill after projectiles were fired at passengers.

Salisbury Journal: Youths fired projectiles at buses going up St Michael's Hill last year.Youths fired projectiles at buses going up St Michael's Hill last year. (Image: Pauline Brocksom)

The PSPO would make it a criminal offence to carry a catapult or ammunition and incriminate anyone drinking alcohol in public.

As part of the process, two consultations were carried out between September 2023 and February 2024.

Another Bemerton Heath resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had been subjected to racial abuse and attacks spanning six months.

He said: “It drove me into a dark place where I contemplated drinking myself to death and or taking matters into my own hands and harming these thugs.

“I chose to put my faith in the police and I felt the police did what they could in terms of reassuring me. But they could have done more to deal with the issue as there is evidence of this."

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As a result of the harassment, he has not felt safe leaving his house due to the "constant issues" with catapults and anti-social behaviour.

“I am constantly threatened with repercussions if I even think about retaliating or defending myself against these people," he added.

Worried that there is "no deterrent in place", he added: “Catapults are not toys. They are dangerous weapons that are capable of doing serious damage to animals and people or property.

“It is silly to assume that children are using these for fun shooting empty cans or inanimate objects. They are used whenever the opportunity arises, illegally.”

Salisbury City councillor Caroline Corbin, for Bemerton Heath, said she was saddened for the Slade family, adding: "We are at a point where a PSPO is needed again to ensure those responsible are dealt with correctly and if the person is found to be underage that the parent or responsible adult is expected to take accountability."

Salisbury Journal: Salisbury City councillor Caroline Corbin.Salisbury City councillor Caroline Corbin. (Image: Salisbury City Council)

Theft from vehicles and violence is also on the rise, according to Cllr Corbin.

She added: "Bemerton Heath is a lovely estate with many long-established families living in the community and most residents feel a sense of pride about their homes and are devastated when reckless vandalism, criminal damage or death of pets occur.

"The statement of it takes a village to raise a child may work for some but responsible parenting means accountability for your offspring until they turn 18."

Wiltshire councillor Dominic Muns, cabinet member for environment, said, “Following a second public consultation earlier this year,  our officers have been assessing the feedback and liaising with Wiltshire Police to finalise the proposals for a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in Salisbury. We are now in the final stages of the process, with the order ready to be sealed and implemented. We’ll have more details on this very soon.’

“We want our residents to know that we take anti-social behaviour seriously, in fact, a key commitment in our business plan is to safeguard our residents and we hope a PSPO will help to lower the levels of anti-social behaviour that are being seen currently in the city.”