It’s been a really interesting and concerning week in the run up to Christmas. Sunday saw more police activity in the village than we have seen for many a long year. The forecourt of the Stonehenge Filling Station was full with police vehicles, police men and women, PCSO’s and a bunch of somewhat dodgy looking chaps in combat jackets; accompanied by a motley selection of long-dogs in need of a square meal.

Stonehenge Filling Station Forecourt

Local farmers and landowners around Stapleford and Winterbourne Stoke had been reporting their concerns of illegal hare-coursing activities in the area. Following the police swoop, 9 individuals, some from as far away as South Wales, have been reported for offences under the Hunting Act. The police seized two vehicles, mobile phones and 10 dogs. Some of the dogs may have been stolen and enquiries continue. Rural crime is a growing problem and back in October, Wiltshire Police launched Operation Artemis – named after the Greek/Roman goddess of the hunt and of wild places. Op Artemis is part of a broader, national initiative to hit at poaching operations called Project Trepass, which aims to coordinate action across England and Wales through prevention, intelligence, enforcement and reassurance.

If you see any activities of this sort (the lay-by west of the village is a common gathering point), please call 101 and quote ‘Operation Artemis’. If a crime is in progress, call 999.

Late yesterday (Wed 19th December), police were called to an attack outside the Stonehenge Inn, Durrington. This has left a 20 year-old with critical injuries requiring brain surgery. After initially being taken to Salisbury District Hospital, the man was later transferred to Southampton General Hospital. Two other men were injured during the incident.

Three men, aged 25, 27 and 29, from the Port Talbot area of South Wales, have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent and are currently in custody.

There is no suggestion that the two events are linked and as one local wag observed: “Criminals from South Wales have been causing problems in this area for years – at least since the time they started dumping blue stones here during the construction of Stonehenge.”

It will come as a relief to hear that Neighbourhood Watch have launched a new website:

Reg Halsall (NHWN, Communications Administrator, Wiltshire) says:

Our new website is up and running and you can access it at www.wiltshirenhw.org New features on the site include links so you can contact the committee member representing your region of Neighbourhood Watch in Wiltshire and, if you know people who want to join Neighbourhood Watch, a new quick sign up form which replaces the long form on the old site.

Feel free to share the new join link with anyone not yet on the system.  http://wiltshirenhw.org/join-login-nhw.html
Why not visit the site soon and have a look around.

Well, after all that excitement, we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Crime-free and Peaceful New Year.

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