A 13-YEAR-OLD boy was found with a large knife after trouble broke out in Walcot.

Police were carrying out proactive patrols in the area on Monday afternoon when they were alerted to a disorder at around 5.45pm in Burghley Close.

When officers arrived they saw a group of four or five teenage boys, who ran off when approached.

They gave chase on foot and manage to stop three of them, two aged 13 and one aged 14.

A large knife was located in the waistband of one of the youngsters and seized by police.

A 13-year-old was arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife in a public place.

Insp Ben Huggins from the Swindon Community Policing Team said: “This highlights the importance of our ongoing proactive patrols out in our communities.

“These officers were able to respond swiftly to this report of a disorder and stop three of the teenagers, not only making an arrest but seizing a dangerous weapon and getting it off our streets.

“Our recent Operation Sceptre work highlighted the importance of having a community-led approach on tackling knife crime and youth violence.

“We know that there are some young people, especially in Swindon, who feel they need to carry a weapon for protection or who may feel pressured into carrying a weapon. I would urge all parents and carers to speak to their children and make sure you know who they are associating with and what they are doing.

“We all need to work together to protect our young people.”

The 13-year-old has since been referred to the Youth Restorative Intervention panel to decide the most appropriate course of action.

This is a multi-agency decision panel, with an emphasis and focus on restorative justice, engagement and intervention, to ensure that outcomes are appropriate.

In February, a Freedom of Information request made by the Adver revealed a 12-year-old boy was the youngest person caught by Wiltshire Police in possession of an offensive weapon last year.

In 2020, 50 boys and four girls were arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife or offensive weapon.

The man in charge of Swindon’s community policing teams, Supt Phil Staynings, said he was incredibly saddened to learn of the young ages of those caught with knives and drugs on the town’s streets.