The horrific incident that took place on Saturday morning in the Two Mile Ash area of Milton Keynes will have shocked the whole community. It is a tragedy for the families of the two men who have died and we must not forget that a young boy remains in hospital in a serious condition.
I have met with some of the officers involved at the scene and those leading the investigation. Whilst Thames Valley Police and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) continue their investigations I cannot comment further on the details of the events, but from my understanding at this early stage I am confident that the officers involved acted not just appropriately but bravely and with great professionalism in dealing with this terrible incident. Welfare support is in place for the officers involved and I will be meeting with the IOPC to discuss their ongoing investigation.
These tragic deaths come after a number of unrelated violent incidents in Milton Keynes which have understandably caused concern for many in the community. Thames Valley Police have made many successful arrests relating to these violent crimes and continue to work proactively to reduce violence in Milton Keynes and across the Thames Valley.
In addition to the extra resources that have been deployed in Milton Keynes there are a number of intelligence-led operations and longer term initiatives aimed at not just reducing violent crime, but tackling the culture that makes it acceptable to carry weapons in the first place.
My new Police & Criminal Justice Plan sets strong local policing as a priority and explicitly seeks to reduce violent crimes, especially deaths from knife crime. Sadly there are no simple solutions to the complex problem of why some people, especially young people, are choosing to carry weapons. The police have a key role to play and I want to ensure a Thames Valley Police are well placed to proactively tackle the threat of violence where it occurs, but there is also a role for other partners such as councils, schools and health who are all involved in the work of the Violence Reduction Unit.
Yet we all have a role to play, and whilst I would seek to reassure the public that the police are doing all they can do keep residents safe, I would ask people to continue to support the police in these efforts. I urge anyone with information or even concerns about someone becoming involved in violent crime to contact the police on 101 or to contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org.