Police have cracked down on anti-social behaviour in a Wiltshire town centre after months of “issues” at a busy retail park.

Speaking during an online question and answer session, Inspector Pete Foster and Sergeant Jamie Ball, of Wiltshire Police, revealed neighbourhood teams in Chippenham had made positive progress tackling offenders in the town over recent months.

One of the key concerns raised by residents during the event was the presence of “street drinkers” and “intimidating” anti-social behaviour at both Hathaway Retail Park and in the town centre, including the Buttercross area.

One local said: “There seems to be a problem with street drinkers and anti-social behaviour at Hathaway Retail Park.

“These people are gathering near the Tesco, often playing music loudly, drinking, and generally making a nuisance.

“It can be quite intimidating for some people when you have to walk through them to get to the shops.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Hathaway Retail Park, Chippenham

Over the last year, there have been multiple reports of offences at the retail park, including shoplifting, eggs and cans being hurled at cars, and a “disgusting” alleged assault on a teenage boy.

While Sgt Ball emphasised that anti-social behaviour will inevitably take place in any town, he identified two groups that have caused issues in Chippenham.

These include a group of youths “causing problems” and an older group of “street drinkers”.

He added: “We’ve been working relentlessly over the past six or eight months to try and combat the issues in our town.

“We’ve had issues with a number of youths and older persons in and around Hathaway Retail Park and the Buttercross area of town.

“(In) the High Street and the town centre itself there are a number of street drinkers who have been congregating around the Buttercross area, I’m aware the public sometimes feels uneasy walking around those people.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The ButtercrossThe Buttercross (Image: Newsquest)

Sgt Ball believes operations carried out by the police have alleviated some of these issues in recent months.

A number of Community Protection Warnings were handed out to offenders at the Buttercross excluding them from parts of the town centre.

Meanwhile several operations have targeted anti-social behaviour and crime at the retail park.

He added: “Hathaway Retail Park is an area we have worked on for the last two or three months, we’ve had different operations up there and made three arrests so far.

“We’ve also caught people shoplifting. A number of youths have been identified and we’ve taken them home to parents… to try and help prevent them from reoffending.”