Released on behalf of Counter Terrorism Policing South East
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Investigation update: Reading terrorism incident
Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) continue to investigate the terrorism incident which took place in Reading yesterday evening (20/6).
A 25-year-old man from Reading, who was arrested initially on suspicion of murder yesterday, has now been re-arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 by detectives from CTPSE.
Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, Head of CTPSE, said: “The investigation continues to move at a fast pace.
“We know that the suspect entered into Forbury Gardens in the centre of Reading and attacked members of the public with a knife leaving three people dead and three people needing hospital treatment.
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families who will be mourning loved ones after this horrific act, and to all those who have been affected by it. We continue to work with the coroner to formally identify those who have died and to inform and support their relatives."
As previously confirmed by Thames Valley Police earlier today, the suspect was arrested within five minutes of the initial report and a number of officers were quickly on scene.
DCS Barnes added: “I would like to reiterate earlier requests that people show restraint by not sharing any images and footage of the attack on social media.
“I am also appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the attack or who has information that might assist the investigation to contact Thames Valley Police by calling 101 and quoting Operation Vaselike. If you have any videos or footage that you filmed during the incident please share it with us via www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk.”
Police are aware of reports of speculation as to the identity of the suspect, but would ask people to avoid speculating to protect the integrity of the investigation.
A number of police cordons remain in place around Reading whilst detectives from CTPSE work though the crime scene and we thank everyone for their patience and understanding.
DCS Barnes added: “We continue to work closely with Thames Valley Police and our partners to investigate the motives behind this appalling attack but we are confident this is an isolated incident.
“Finally I would like to take this opportunity encourage the public to remain vigilant. If you see or hear something suspicious, trust your instincts and ACT. Report it to police in confidence via gov.uk/ACT and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity to police, in confidence, via gov.uk/ACT or 0800 789 321.
“In an emergency the public should always call 999. If you get caught up in the event of a weapons attack we urge you to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice.”
In a statement earlier Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, John Campbell, said:
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Note to editors
Please send any enquiries with regards to this investigation to: CTPSE&[email protected]
No further investigation updates will be issued today.