THANKS to the kindness of the community in Calne, a youth drop-in centre has been given replacement Xbox and Wii games consoles after theirs were taken during a break-in.

The Calne Youth Trust operates a safe and supervised area for young people aged 11-17 to meet their friends, using premises in Wood Street.

Mercy Baggs, who has run the trust for almost 18 years, told the Gazette & Herald just how angry the break-in has made the town.

“It makes me so angry, they know what this place is, what it means to the community,” she explained.

“Customers are angry about it, I’ve never known people so angry.

“The young people are furious. They are condemning whoever has done this. They can’t believe someone would do something like this.

“We were hoping to open this week but I don’t think we will be open.

“There was blood on the wall and foot marks in the carpet so I’m getting someone in to clean the carpet.

“They broke in, came round the back, pulled away the iron bars in front of the window, smashed the window and came through the smallest hole they could fit themselves through, cracked the toilet seat off, took the curtain down and took what they wanted.

“The ground staff have done a terrific job clearing up and I thank them all for their help.”

With insurance not able to cover the excess costs, a plea was put out on Facebook for donations of games consoles to replace the ones stolen. It was met by a wave of support from the community, with a Wii and an Xbox quickly found, as well as a call for a crowdfunding page to be set up to help pay for damages and more equipment.

Mrs Baggs said: “I can’t thank the community enough, they have got behind us, it is amazing.

“I am so grateful for the interest they have taken. Things have been donated and someone offered their time to help us which is great.

“Everyone has come together and everyone has been so good to us. I appreciate it and my fellow volunteers do too.”

Wiltshire Police are currently investigating four burglaries which took place in Calne on the night of Wednesday, March 21, at the Calne Youth Trust, the Spice of Bengal, Joy Balti and the Goatacre Club.

A 31-year-old man has been arrested in connection with these incidents and released under investigation while enquiries continue.