Armed unit intercepts suspected flasher

This Is Wiltshire: Martin alvis Martin alvis

AN ARMED police unit was in the right place at the right time as a suspected flasher ran into them and a response unit in Royal Wootton Bassett this week.

A report came through to officers in the area just after 4pm on Tuesday that a man had exposed himself to a 10-year-old girl in Lyneham before driving off in a van.

Within minutes, an armed unit, along with a response team and dog handling unit who had been on routine patrols in the area, had descended on the suspect and put him in cuffs.

A 23-year-old man, who was not from the local area, was arrested and has now been bailed pending further enquiries.

Sgt Martin Alvis, of the Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade neighbourhood policing team, said the man had been tracked on CCTV and pursued by a PCSO until he drove right into the arms of the units waiting off the High Street.

Sgt Alvis said: “The report was received at 4.23pm of a male who had exposed his penis to a 10-year-old girl. It was in the Preston Lane area of Lyneham.

“A police vehicle tailed the van before it was eventually stopped in Royal Wootton Bassett.

“The suspect was apprehended on Wootton Bassett Road, just off the High Street, at 4.37pm, so within minutes of the initial report.

“A 23-year-old male, not from the immediate area, was arrested. He has now been interviewed and was released on police bail the following day while enquiries continue. He is to return on August 13.”

Sgt Alvis said the arrest was the result of being in the right place at the right time, and stressed that the armed unit had not been called specifically to deal with a lone flasher.

“We have armed response units patrolling all around Wiltshire, and they happened to be in Wootton Bassett at the time,” he said.

“There was no deployment of firearms in response to the specific incident.

“The same went for the dog handler unit, which was nearby as well. They patrol very regularly and it is part of their routine to visit the area.

“The good news is that the male was arrested within minutes. It was just good co-ordinated policing, and a coincidence the units were in the area at the time.

“We had the neighbourhood policing team who called it in and they ran into the other units just up the road.

“We are very committed to preventing crime and if the right resources are there we will use them.”

If anyone has any information in connection with this incident they should contact Wiltshire Police on non-emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 where information can be left anonymously.

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