STABBING: ‘It’s extremely worrying that this could happen in Wokingham’

Politicians express concerns and shock over 'isolated' incident

POLITICIANS have expressed their concerns after a man was stabbed in Wokingham last night.

Labour group leader Cllr Andy Croy said that the incident was “very, very shocking”, Conservative councillor Philip Mirfin said that he was “not happy to have a knife crime incident in my ward” and Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Lindsay Ferris said that it was “extremely worrying”.

They were responding to news that a man in his 20s was attacked opposite Wokingham’s railway station.

Police said in a statement that an 18-year-old man from Farnborough, Hampshire, has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He remains in police custody.

It is understood that up to five people were involved in the incident, which took place around 9.50pm on Monday, April 1.

The victim was stabbed several times and was rushed to hospital where he remains in a stable condition but with serious injuries.

Cllr Ferris told The Wokingham Paper: “It’s extremely worrying that this could happen in Wokingham. Police numbers are down and [the attackers] feel they can get away with it.”

A similar view was expressed by Cllr Croy, who said: “It is very, very shocking: no one expects this in Wokingham.

“At the moment we don’t know all the facts, it is not a good idea to jump to conclusions on the causes.

“The emergency services did a fantastic job to respond to incidents like this,” he said adding that he had concerns as to whether the police had enough resources to actively tackle anti-social behaviour.

And Cllr Mirfin, who is up for election this May, said: “I’m clearly not happy to have had a knife crime incident in my ward.”

He said that he understood the police were keen to have special powers to restrict the consumption of alcohol in public places in Wokingham town centre and pledged to support any such moves.

“We need to take away the fuel that fans the fire,” he said. “I hope we can get cross-party support for such a move.”

He also said that the council was looking to work with charity JAC (Just Around the Corner) and churches in the borough in a bid to find a spot that could be used as a safe space for youngsters to meet.

“We’ve not found a location yet,” he said.

Detective Inspector Ash Mohmood, of Force CID at Reading, is leading the investigation.

In a statement, he said: “This is, of course, a concerning incident, but I would like to reassure the community that I believe this to be an isolated incident.

“I would urge anybody who has any information about the incident, no matter how insignificant you may think this is, to contact police.

“There will be a continued police presence in the area while our investigation continues. Please do not hesitate to speak to one of our officers if you have any concerns or any information that may assist the investigation.”

Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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