The Wokingham Paper

‘Lives have been devastated’: Chief Constable gives update on Forbury Gardens terrorist attack

Chief Constable John Campbell
Chief Constable John Campbell from Thames Valley Police addresses the media outside Abbey Gate Picture: Phil Creighton

“Lives have been been devastated” said Thames Valley Police’s Chief Constable about the terrorist attack that took place in Reading’s town centre last night. 

Earlier this afternoon, John Campbell addressed the media, including Wokingham.Today, outside the Abbey Gate, close to the entrance to Forbury Gardens. 

He said that it was not possible to give any further details about the man who was arrested or what had happened as “this is a live Counter Terrorism investigation”.

He added: “It is really important that we do not compromise the investigation in the interest of seeking justice for the victims.”

However, CC Campbell was able to give some more information about the initial police response. 

“At 6.56pm we received a report that a number of people had been stabbed in Forbury Gardens in Reading,” he said.

“Tragically, three people have died and others were injured in this attack.

“Lives have been devastated and at this time the thoughts of all my officers and staff at Thames Valley Police are with those who have been affected in this tragic incident.”
He continued: “Within five minutes of the first call, officers had apprehended a man and made an arrest. He remains in police custody at this time. 

“I am sure we would all want to recognise the bravery of those police officers responding, but also that a number of members of the public were helping my officer’s and the victims at what was a very distressing scene. 

“My thanks on behalf of Thames Valley Police goes to them too. 

“I would like to reassure you that at this time we do not believe there to be a wider risk and to reiterate that there is nothing to suggest that anyone else is involved in this incident.”

CC Campbell also said that not all next of kin had been contacted for those affected. 

“Please keep this in mind when commenting or re-sharing anything with regards to this incident, it is incredibly distressing for all those involved,” he said.

“Overnight as the investigation continued I am aware that the community of Reading has been impacted to allow these enquiries to take place. I’d like to thank residents affected.”

And the disruption to Reading town centre, which has seen major roads and bus routes closed, will continue for the time being. 

“My officers and staff will remain in the community and you will see an increased police presence. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to approach them,” he explained.

“I would also like to thank the broader community of Reading for their support, patience and understanding. I am proud of your response as well as all of our emergency service partners and of course my officers and staff for their work throughout.”

Chief Constable John Campbell’s statement in full

“As you will be aware, last night a murder investigation was launched by Thames Valley Police officers and this has now been declared a terrorism incident.

“At 6.56pm we received a report that a number of people had been stabbed in Forbury Gardens in Reading.

“Tragically, three people have died and others were injured in this attack.

“Lives have been devastated and at this time the thoughts of all my officers and staff at Thames Valley Police are with those who have been affected in this tragic incident.

“Within five minutes of the first call, officers had apprehended a man and made an arrest. He remains in police custody at this time. I am sure we would all want to recognise the bravery of those police officers responding, but also that a number of members of the public were helping my officer’s and the victims at what was a very distressing scene. My thanks on behalf of Thames Valley Police goes to them too. 

“I would like to reassure you that at this time we do not believe there to be a wider risk and to reiterate that there is nothing to suggest that anyone else is involved in this incident.

“I am not in a position to talk about the man who has been arrested or give any further details about this case as this is a live Counter Terrorism investigation. It is really important that we do not compromise the investigation in the interest of seeking justice for the victims.

“I would like to take this opportunity to ask the public and media to refrain from speculation. If you saw what happened or have a video of this incident please get in touch with police, rather than by sharing this on social media. You can do this by searching for UKpoliceimageappeal.co.uk or by calling 101.

“It is also important to note that the process of contacting next of kin is ongoing. Please keep this in mind when commenting or re-sharing anything with regards to this incident, it is incredibly distressing for all those involved.

“Overnight as the investigation continued I am aware that the community of Reading has been impacted to allow these enquiries to take place. I’d like to thank residents affected.

“Police cordons will continue to be in place and I understand this may cause some disruption to you but this is so vital so that police work can continue.

“My officers and staff will remain in the community and you will see an increased police presence. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to approach them.

“I would also like to thank the broader community of Reading for their support, patience and understanding. I am proud of your response as well as all of our emergency service partners and of course my officers and staff for their work throughout.

“Thank you.”

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Pedant

Typo
I am sure we would all want to recognise the bravery of those police officers responding, but also that a number of members of the public were helping my officer’s and the victims at what was a very distressing scene.

No apostrophe needed in officers

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