CALNE policeman Don Pocock has taken the unusual step of writing hand delivered letters to people living close to where teenage schoolgirl Ellie Gould died in Springfield Drive on Friday.

The acting inspector, who knows the town well, shared the community’s sense of shock and sadness.

He said: “I completely understand the impact that this tragic incident has had on the community of Calne, and the wider community in Chippenham where Ellie went to school.

“Calne is a small, close knit community and I am sure Ellie’s family and friends will take a great deal of comfort from the hundreds of messages of support they have received.

“I felt it was important to write to the local residents who were no doubt shocked by the police presence in their neighbourhood over the weekend. I hope that if anyone has any concerns, they get in touch, or approach an officer in Calne.”

The ambulance service were called to the home of Hardenhuish sixth former Ellie shortly before 3.15pm on Friday. She was pronounced dead at the scene having suffered a severed knife wound.

A/Insp Pocock wrote his letter, which was also published on social media on Tuesday, after a 17-year-old boy known to Ellie appeared in court. He said: “I am sure, like me, you have all been extremely shocked and saddened by the news of the tragic death of Ellie Gould in Calne on Friday, and the subsequent murder inquiry we have launched.

“It is crucial that nothing relating to the investigation is released from this point as it might jeopardise the case.

“I wanted to take this opportunity to write to you to, firstly, thank you for the support and patience you have shown to our officers and staff carrying out their enquiries in relation to this investigation in your local neighbourhood over the bank holiday weekend.

“I fully appreciate the disruption, uncertainty and concern this would have caused in what is a quiet but close-knit community.

“The heightened police presence in the Calne area is likely to continue over the next few days while officers continue to progress the investigation. The mobile police point will remain in Phelps Parade over the coming days – if you have any questions or concerns, I would urge you to either visit the police point, speak to officers in the area, or call 101. Where appropriate, we will do our best to answer your questions.

“All of our thoughts here at Wiltshire Police are with the family and friends of Ellie at what must be a devastating time for them. Ellie’s family will continue to be supported by our specially trained officers in the coming weeks and months.

“I also appreciate the impact this is likely to have on Hardenhuish School, where Ellie was a student, and all the pupils and teaching staff there. I am liaising directly with the head teacher to make sure they are getting all the support they need.”