FOLLOWING three stabbings across Swindon in nearly as many days, the folk in charge want us to know the town is safe.

They have pointed out, for example, that knife attacks are often part of wider criminal activity and that an ordinary person’s chance of becoming a victim is very small.

This common sense stance about such a serious matter is inspiring - so inspiring, in fact, that I’ve decided to explore its commercial possibilities.

I wrote to my bank manager, outlining a plan for a business specialising in issuing reassuring statements on behalf of companies who find themselves in trying circumstances. I included some sample statements, imagining some very tricky scenarios.

One said: “We at The Great Big Forest Leisure Park were very disturbed to learn that some of our visitors were attacked by a pack of rabid wolves which has been roaming our site for some time.

“While we acknowledge that being attacked by a pack of rabid wolves is a highly distressing experience, we would like to reassure our visitors that they have very little to worry about.

“The Great Big Forest Leisure Park is, as its name suggests, very big indeed, and can accommodate tens of thousands of visitors. As there are only - to our knowledge - about a dozen rabid wolves in the pack of rabid wolves roaming the premises, the risk to any individual visitor is very small indeed.

“We also wish to point out that, generally speaking, attacks by rabid wolves are part of wider hydrophobic lupine activity within The Great Big Forest Leisure Park. Anybody who is not involved in wider hydrophobic lupine activity, such as howling at the moon, foaming at the mouth and being completely mad and vicious, is therefore at much less risk.

“In addition, should a group of visitors happen to cross paths with the pack of rabid wolves, they should remember that they are only at risk if the wolves are hungry. Furthermore, even if the wolves happen to be a bit peckish at the time, only the relatively few visitors unable to run as fast as the rest need worry.

“Should any visitor to The Great Big Forest Leisure Park have concerns about the pack of rabid wolves or about wider hydrophobic lupine activity, they are welcome to get in touch.

“They should remember, however, that they should only use our emergency number if somebody is in the process of being torn limb from limb.

“Other concerns, such as the eerie sound of growling and snarling carried on the wind in the dead of night, or the marks of teeth and claws found on exterior doors and window frames, should be addressed through our non-emergency line.

“Please remember that The Great Big Forest Leisure Park is a safe place for all.”

Another of my sample reassuring statements began: “The Bespoke Bridge-building Company wishes to address some misconceptions about our bridge over the large gorge.

“Our condolences to those who attempted to cross, only to have a slat break and plunge them hundreds of feet to their doom in the roiling rapids below.

“On investigating, we discovered that some of the slats are defective, but as there are only a few such slats among the 200,000 or so used to construct the bridge, the risk to individuals is tiny and they should continue to cross with confidence.”

Anyway, I sent my proposal to the bank manager and expected her to get back to me by return of post with the offer of an enormous business loan.

Imagine my surprise when she instead wrote: “Are you having some sort of midlife crisis or do you really believe the general public are so utterly stupid as to fall for this nonsense?”