Alert message sent 06/04/2020 15:01:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

Date: 06 April 2020

Hate crime incident in Melksham - can you help?

We are appealing for any witnesses or information following an incident involving a woman who is registered blind.

At approximately 6pm on Saturday April 4, the woman, who is aged in her 50s, was walking with her guide dog in Halifax Road, Melksham. 

Her guide dog indicated that a person was nearby so the victim shouted out that she couldn’t social distance as she was unable to see and asked the person to keep their distance. 

However, instead of keeping a distance, the person approached the victim and coughed in her face – the victim felt their breath against her cheek. 

Sgt David Hambly said: “Especially due to the current climate, the victim felt especially anxious and shocked by this person’s actions and immediately went home and washed her face and hands.

“This is completely unacceptable behaviour and we are treating this as an incident of hate crime – the suspect in this case has shown complete disregard for this woman’s health and vulnerabilities and I know members of the local community will be both saddened and disappointed to hear of this person’s actions.

“Unfortunately, we do not have a description of the suspect, but we would urge anyone who may have seen this interaction to get in touch – do you live in Halifax Road? Do you have CCTV fitted to your property? Or were you driving in the area with a dash cam fitted to your vehicle? If so, you may have captured footage of the suspect so please do call us on 101 and quote crime reference number 54200032878.”

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Message sent by
Lee Pelling (Police, Neighbourhood PC, CPT Trowbridge)

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