YET more people in North Swindon have declared the police “invisible” and have demanded a greater presence on the streets.

It follows a barrage of complaints from people all over the town concerned about a lack of visible policing.

Martin Wellman, 57, from Haydon Wick, said he felt people – especially the elderly – were being let down by police.

He said: “We have constant problems with anti-social behaviour around here and I think it’s a real shame that we never see police patrolling the streets.

“If the people who keep committing these crimes could see a visible police presence, I think they would think twice before offending.”

Martin, who has lived in Haydon Wick for the past 13 years, said he is often fearful at the sight of gangs of youths roaming the streets at night.

Martin’s comments reflect what was said in a meeting of the Haydon Wick Parish Council late last month, when Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson met with councillors following a rise in reports of anti-social behaviour.

Councillor Damon Bower suggested that residents had taken to patrolling the streets themselves due to a lack of perceived activity from officers.

Residents in Eldene also grilled Mr Macpherson last week following reports of a crime wave which has swept the area over the past 18 months.

In response, Mr Macpherson claimed that, because a lot of crime is invisible – such as terrorism, online child exploitation or fraud – so too is the police response.

He said: “I recognise that there has been a reduction in the level of public satisfaction with the visibility of police, according to my most recent public opinion survey.

“However I am pleased to report that the proportion of survey respondents who stated they have confidence in Wiltshire Police remains stable and high at 80.4 per cent.”

However, Redhouse resident Amanda Jackson, 44, claimed this “missed the point”.

She said: “Tackling terrorism and fraud is all very well and good, but what about the crimes we see taking place on our doorsteps on a daily basis?

“The police really should be addressing it.

“I appreciate that money is tight these days, but something really should be done.”

Inspector Andy Bridge, of the Swindon North Community Policing Team, said: “We are committed to providing the best policing service we can to keep people safe and to protect our community and I would urge people to continue to report incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour.”