A Multiple Sclerosis sufferer is the latest victim of criminal activity on a Salisbury housing estate. Now residents are asking if the police could do more to obtain an effective intelligence picture of criminal activity and implement strategies to prevent these crimes.
Between 10pm and mid-night on Monday, August 12, a wheelchair accessible vehicle in a disabled parking bay on Woodside Road, Salisbury, was vandalised and a catalytic converter stolen.
The damage was so extensive it was written off by the insurance company, but the payout was significantly less than the cost of the vehicle or the cost of a reliable used replacement.
Victim Harry Day, husband, father and grandfather to two young girls, lives with secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis. He relies heavily on expensive medical equipment to support an acceptable standard of living and mobility.
Harry’s son Darren said: “The debilitating illness takes a toll on sufferers and their loved ones – the inability to perform almost any physical function without help is challenging, impacting mental health as well.
“The effect of losing this crucial means of transport leaves my father unable to conveniently attend medical appointments or participate in day trips with his family, particularly his grand-children, aged one and three, where a replacement is too expensive.”
His father was still trying to understand why somebody would do this to a disabled person’s property, he added. “This is just one of numerous cases of thefts and vandalism on properties and vehicles across Salisbury, particularly Bemerton Health. Why can it not be prevented?” he asked.
Darren, a serving member of the Armed Forces and volunteer worker in Salisbury, said a simple vehicle patrol could have identified the person stealing the catalytic converter from his father’s vehicle, and potentially prevent other crimes committed since.”
Wiltshire Police said: “We received a report relating to theft of a catalytic converter from a vehicle, sometime between 2pm on August 12 and 11am on August 13. The vehicle was parked in Woodside Road. If anyone has information which would assist identifying the person/persons responsible, call 101 and quote crime reference number 54190079760.
“Our community co-ordinator, and our Community Policing Team officers, work hard to identify priorities for their area on a regular basis and all officers are made aware of crimes, or spates of crimes so that proactive patrols can be carried out when possible to reassure residents and deter individuals from committing opportunistic crime in our neighbourhoods.”