Reading attack: Security minister says lessons will be learnt

Monday, June 22, 2020

Security minister James Brokenshire has told talkRADIO the government will continue to review sentencing and deportation policies after a suspected terrorist attack in a Reading park.

Three people were killed and three others injured in a knife attack in Forbury Gardens on Saturday.

It has emerged that the suspect, a 25-year-old Libyan refugee, was brought to the attention of MI5 last year but was found to pose an insubstantial threat.

Speaking with Julia Hartley-Brewer, Mr Brokenshire condemned the “evil and callous” incident and said the government will keep looking into what more can be done to prevent such attacks.

He said: “If there are lessons to be learnt then absolutely we will do so. We obviously have and will continue to deport foreign national offenders, we’re looking at ways in which the law can be strengthened.

“This week we have legislation before Parliament to tighten our sentencing, to enhance some of our preventative measures and ensure that we’re doing all that we can to support our police.”

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of murder a short distance away from the scene but later re-arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act, which gives police the power to detain him without charge for up to 14 days.

Two of the victims have been named as school teacher James Furlong, 36, and an American man named locally as Joe Ritchie-Bennett.

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