23 June 2020

Statement on attack in Forbury Gardens

Brighton & Hove City Council’s thoughts and prayers are with the families of the three people who lost their lives, and for those who remain seriously injured following a terror attack in a Reading park on Saturday 20 June.

The last few months have been hard for everyone. Covid-19 restrictions have prevented us from being outside and meeting with family and friends. The shocking attack on innocent people – many of whom were probably enjoying being in a beautiful open space in good weather for the first time in many months - is heart-breaking.

We say thank you to the emergency services who acted so swiftly to prevent further harm and to members of the public who did all they could to help.  This must have been terrifying incident to witness and be part of. Our thoughts are with you too.  

It has been confirmed that all three victims were members of the LGBTQ+ community.  

We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community of Reading who have lost their friends in this appalling attack and acknowledge the concerns this has caused to the LGBTQ+ community in our city and elsewhere.

Brighton & Hove has a strong tradition, built up over decades, of offering a home to people seeking sanctuary and we have officially been a City of Sanctuary for five years. This means everyone that comes here is welcome and supported so that they can contribute to the diverse life of the city. 

We must foster a society where all lives are lived openly, authentically and free from prejudice or fear of being targeted. A society where we respect and accept the beliefs and faiths of our communities and work to help and support them on an everyday basis.  

We will come together and oppose all forms of prejudices, hate, extremism and terrorism, wherever it takes place, whatever form it takes and whoever is targeted.  

We stand together strong - united in compassion with all communities in the city.

The attack in Forbury Gardens was captured on mobile phones. Out of respect for those deceased and injured, along with their loved ones, please do not circulate this footage on social media – this will be incredibly distressing.

Reporting suspicious behaviour or activity

The threat level from terrorism to the UK remains unchanged at ‘Substantial’, meaning an attack is likely.  The police and other agencies continue to work to keep the public safe. 

Co-operation between the public and the police is the greatest asset in tackling the challenge the UK faces from terrorism. Sussex Police and Brighton & Hove City Council ask our residents and communities to remain aware and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity immediately by calling the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789321 or 999 in an emergency. 

You can also make a report on the Sussex Police website 
 
Find out more on the GOV.UK Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) campaign website

Reporting hate incidents

One Voice members urge everyone to be aware and are encouraging residents and communities to report any racist, religiously motivated or other hate incidents within our communities.
 
Organisations can also use the Counter Terrorism Police’s online training package ‘ACT Awareness eLearning’ for advice on Protective Security and how to respond

Please report hate incidents on the Safe in the City website

You can also get information on the Safe in the City website about preventing terrorism and extremism

Councillor Nancy Platts, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council and Leader of the Labour Group
Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, Convenor of the Green Group
Councillor Steve Bell, Leader of the Conservative Group