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Today marks seven days since the tragic death of 17-year-old Ellie Gould in Calne.

ellie gould calne newsThe death of any young person in our community is always incredibly emotive but when these enquiries lead to a murder investigation involving a suspect of the same age, tensions are naturally heightened.

As many of you will now know, we have charged a 17-year-old male with Ellie's murder and the judicial process is well underway - this means it would be inappropriate for us, or indeed anyone, to comment further on this aspect of the case.

What I would like to focus on though, is the way in which our local communities have rallied around Ellie's family, friends and fellow pupils at Hardenhuish School in Chippenham where Ellie was a pupil. My officers have seen first-hand the outpouring of love and support being shown by the people of Calne and Chippenham.

I would like to pay tribute to everyone who knew Ellie - from the recollections I've been told by the head teacher at Hardenhuish, Ellie was a vibrant, popular and talented young woman.

I, like many of you, have children of a similar age to Ellie and I simply cannot comprehend the grief and sadness all those affected are feeling. I fully appreciate the disruption, uncertainty and concern this case would have caused in what is a quiet but close-knit community.

Along with colleagues in the Community Policing Team, I have been liaising closely with key stakeholders across the school and Wiltshire Council to ensure everyone is getting the right level of support at what is clearly an incredibly distressing time for them and their pupils.

I have been thoroughly impressed by the way in which the school quickly acted to ensure that pupils had access to the support they needed - particularly over a Bank Holiday weekend.

I have also been impressed by the professionalism, diligence and hard work displayed by my officers, staff and volunteers in responding to this investigation. Dealing with the death of a young person in such horrific circumstances is not easy and I commend the way they have all dealt with this.

Along with our local community policing team, I will continue to offer my full support to the wider communities of Calne and Chippenham over the coming weeks. I springfield6would urge anyone with concerns or questions to simply ask any one of my officers, PCSOs or members of police staff out in your community - where possible, we will happily answer your queries.

Finally, I would like reiterate that my thoughts and the thoughts of every single officer, member or staff and volunteer at Wiltshire Police are with Ellie's family at this truly awful time.

Thank you.