CALLS have been made for better security along an underpass dubbed “mugger’s alley” after a series of violent incidents.

It comes after the Adver revealed seven men had been arrested in connection with the latest stabbing on Ferndale Road last month.

The 50-year-old man was said to have been chased from the underpass between Station Road and Ferndale by a group of masked youths. He was stabbed twice in the buttocks and once in the leg.

The alleyway has seen a number of serious assaults in recent years, including a stabbing in June and a knife death in 2014.

At the time, Det Sgt Adrian Bray of Swindon CID told the Adver: “Prevention is better than cure. The local authority may need to look at putting more CCTV cameras down here, covering the whole of the Western Flyer.”

The police officer of 14 years’ experience said the stabbing had horrified him: "People should be allowed to go about their daily business without being targeted by people.

“There’s a rise in knife crime and there has been a significant serious assault.”

But the experienced officer’s comments prompted an angry response from councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for the town centre and the politician responsible for the redevelopment of the Oasis complex.

“It is extraordinary that the police are looking to the council for leadership on this issue, and not the police and crime commissioner,” he said.

“The council has worked in partnership with the police for years, and that includes installing three CCTV cameras to cover the railway underpass at council taxpayer cost, yet the Western Flyer is two miles long.

“The best method of prevention is not watching CCTV, but for everyone to visibly see police patrolling to prevent knife crime.”

Coun Carol Shelley, the Labour ward councillor for Gorse Hill and Pinehurst, said: “Good management of underpasses and cycle ways, including lighting, CCTV, and design, are the responsibility of our council.

“Making walking and cycling routes into the town centre safe for residents should be a priority, especially as the roads into town are congested and vehicle emissions add to pollution.”

Detectives continue to investigate the Ferndale Road stabbing. Six men, aged between 16 and 18, have been arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent and released under investigation. A seventh man, 18, has been released with no further action.