A 13-year-old boy was fatally stabbed in Reading on Sunday. A murder investigation has been launched by Thames Valley Police, and authorities say that five children have already been arrested and held for questioning. Four boys and a girl between the ages of 13 and 14 were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.
Police were called just before 4pm after reports of a stabbing in fields in the Emmer Green area of the town, The Mirror reported.
The young boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Kevin Brown said that the incident was “shocking.”
“This remains a very active investigation and a large scene-watch remains in place. We have arrested five young people in connection with this tragic incident, but I would urge anybody who has any information surrounding what happened yesterday to please make contact with Thames Valley Police,” Brown said.
Brown also warned that there will be a very considerable police presence in the area of St Barnabus Road and Gravel Hill for a number of days, and there is still a very large scene-watch in place.
“I would appeal to anybody who was in Gravel Hill this afternoon and believes that they witnessed anything that could help this investigation to please make contact with police if you have not already done so,” Brown said.
According to Brown, this is an area that is used often by dog walkers, and police believe that there would have been witnesses.
“I would ask anybody who was driving or cycling in the area and has either a dash-cam or a head-cam to please check the footage between 3pm and 4.30pm, and get in touch if it has captured anything that may assist this investigation. Similarly, many families walk in the area, and so if anybody has taken photographs within the area around that time to please check these and contact us if you have picked up anything suspicious,” Brown said.
Police say that they would also like to speak with anyone who has CCTV footage in the area.
There were 43,516 knife crime offences in 2019.
This is an 80% increase from the low-point in 2014, when there were 23,945 offences, and is the highest number since comparable data was compiled.
These statistics do not include those from Greater Manchester Police because of data recording issues.
Out of the 44 police forces, 43 recorded a rise in knife crime since 2011.
The number of knife-related homicides went from 272 in 2007 to 186 in 2015. Since then, it’s risen every year, with a steep increase in 2017-18, when there were 285 killings, the highest figure since 1946.
One in four victims were men aged 18-24. In 2019, 22,041 people were cautioned, reprimanded, or convicted for carrying a knife in England and Wales