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E-fit appeal after sexual assault in Swindon

Police want to speak to this man in connection with a sexual assault Credit: Wiltshire Police

Wiltshire Police have released an e-fit of a man they want to speak to following a sexual assault in Swindon town centre.

A 17-year-old girl was waiting at a bus stop in Fleming Way when a man approached her and asked if she wanted a coffee. After grabbing her by the hand and leading her to the Octogan Cafe, he indecently touched and kissed her against her will.

After carrying out the assault he led her back to the bus stop, hugged her and boarded a Number 2 bus.

The incident happened at approximately 4.45pm on Wednesday 18th March 2015.

The man is described as approximately 5ft 5 inches tall, of medium build. He spoke clear English but had a foreign accent.

Parents in Swindon urged to be vigilant after children are followed

Parents are being warned not to let young children walk to and from school alone after children were approaced

Parents in Swindon are being warned not to let young children walk to and from school alone.

It follows three incidents near Goddard Primary School this week where pupils reported being followed and even chased by a man. Police are increasing patrols in the area.

A boy was approached in Welcombe avenue on Tuesday morning. Three girls reported being followed near Shaftesbury Avenue that evening and the next morning a girl was chased by a man in Walcot.

The man is described as being in his mid 20s, with short hair and approximately 5 ft 7 inches tall. He is believed to have been wearing a grey hooded top.

"We have stepped up patrols in the area, especially at the beginning and end of the school day.

"If you are a parent of a young child, please ensure they are taken to school and picked up at the end of the day by a responsible adult. Make sure you see your child in through the school gates each day.

"I'd like to remind teachers, parents and pupils to remain vigilant."

– Rachel Barnett, Swindon Neighbourhood Policing Team


Pioneering breast cancer treatment arrives in Wiltshire

New cancer treatment at GWH Credit: Great Western Hospital

The Great Western Hospital in Swindon is the first NHS hospital in the South West to offer a pioneering breast cancer treatment.

More than £100,000 was raised by local people to introduce the new intra-operative radiotherapy.

Unlike traditional methods of radiotherapy, this new treatment works by giving patients a single dose of radiotherapy while they are still in the operating theatre.

It means following surgery patients will not have to travel to either Bath or Oxford to receive radiotherapy.

Other advantages include patients experiencing less pain and sensitivity, a reduced risk of infection and quicker recovery times.

I am so delighted that I am able to have this treatment.

I've read a lot about it and I know that it will make such a massive difference to me and to women just like me.

Travelling for miles and miles every day for up to four weeks to receive radiotherapy is a massive ordeal. There are not many people who can just take it in their stride.

I'm so pleased that I will not have to endure that strain.

– Lynn Ashman, of Malmesbury, patient

It costs £150,000 to offer this treatment for one year.

We originally set out to raise £75,000, with the other £75,000 being provided upfront by Brighter Futures.

The people of Swindon and Wiltshire smashed the target and, at the last count, we had raised around £110,000.

This is fantastic as it means that more of the cost is covered by the community contribution and that Brighter Futures can invest more funds into other worthy projects.

– Jennifer Green, Head of Fundraising,Brighter Futures

I know from experience that following surgery women face an uncomfortable wait of several weeks before they can begin radiotherapy.

During this time, it is only natural that patients worry about tumour development.

It feels amazing to be able to say that we now have the ability to significantly reduce that anxiety.

Any treatment that can make the cancer journey a little bit easier is a wonderful thing.

– Nathan Coombs, Consultant Breast Surgeon

Six new free schools announced for the South West

The Government has today said six new free schools will open in the South West - part of 49 being announced nationwide.

Two will open in Swindon, while one is also planned for Bristol.

Nick Gibb, the Schools Reform Minister, will be in the Swindon this morning to outline plans for the Great Western Academy and the Swindon Church of England Secondary School.

Three new free schools have been announced for Swindon Credit: PA

Today's announcement, the final wave of free schools to be approved before the election, brings the total number of open and approved free schools to more than 400. It has created around 230,000 new school places.

The Government claims 72 per cent of free school heads say they are having a positive impact on schools in their local area – driving up standards and ensuring more parents have a great school in their neighbourhood.

Over 40,000 pupils are already attending free schools, with more than two-thirds rated good or outstanding. 72 per cent are located in areas with a shortage of places.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan Credit: PA

Today’s announcement sends a clear sign that children for generations to come will be able to benefit from a place in a free school. With already more than two-thirds being rated good or outstanding, today’s news will reassure parents that standards will continue to rise.

– Nicky Morgan


Police say they came under a "sustained attack"

Police say they came under a Credit: ITV News

The senior police officer investigating the illegal rave in Swindon has described how his officers "came under a sustained attack."

Superintendent Andrew Carr told ITV Westcountry he had "not seen that level of violence against his officers in Swindon" before.

Four police officers were injured after missiles were thrown at them at an illegal rave in Swindon this morning.

Four people were arrested including one for assaulting a police officer.

Police have now confiscated large speakers that were used at the rave.

Officers injured in missile attack at illegal rave

Officers injured in missile attack at illegal rave in Swindon Credit: ITV News

Four police officers have been injured and at least four people arrested after missiles were thrown at an illegal rave in Swindon.

Police are asking people to stay away from the River Ray industrial estate as they continue to try to close down the rave this morning.

Wiltshire Police have told us that they were notified of around 15 cars gathering in the River Ray Industrial Estate, Barnfield Road, in Rodbourne shortly after 1am. Around one hundred people appeared to be heading for an empty unit on the industrial estate for an illegal rave. Officers attended the scene and put cordons around the area to turn revellers away.

Around 3am missiles were thrown at the police officers. A dog unit and the police helicopter attended the scene. Several hundred people then turned up trying to access the rave.

One man was injured after being bitten by a police dog. The Ambulance Service were called to the scene.

At 6am two police officer were injured after being hit by missiles thrown from people attending the illegal rave. One officer was hit in the head and arm by a brick and the other officer had a head injury after being hit.

Two further officers were also injured, including a dog handler and were treated at the scene.

Four people were arrested for public order offences and one for assaulting a police officer. A member of the public also sustained a head injury.

Officers confiscated speakers Credit: ITV News

It is our job to keep the public safe and disperse people from this location. This rave was illegal and therefore there are no guarantees that location is safe or that the amount of people who attend are properly managed.

We advise the public to avoid the area as we continue to have cordons around this event.

It is very disappointing that members of the public became hostile to officers and began to throw missiles and damage fences and property. Sadly, four officers have been injured and there were other minor injuries. A total of five people have been arrested.

This incident has caused disruption to local people and we will be remaining on scene until the public are fully dispersed and this matter is resolved.

– Superintendent Andrew Carr

Wiltshire police are being assisted by officers from Avon and Somerset and Thames Valley Police.

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