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Man punched in the face

Police have launched an investigation after a man was punched in the face while walking in Reading town centre.

It happened just before midnight on Thursday. The victim, a 38-year-old man, left the Hope Tap pub in Friar Street and walked towards West Street.

A man approached him and swore at him, then assaulted him.

The offender then walked past the victim and down Friar Street towards Reading town hall.

He is white, aged in his mid-twenties, 5ft 5 to 5ft 11ins, medium build with short dark hair.

He was wearing a dark blue or black zip-up jacket and dark trousers.

"The incident appears to have been an unprovoked attack and I would like to speak to anyone who saw anything which may assist with police enquiries.”

– Investigating officer PC Aimee Usher


Tarrant 'really thrilled' to unveil statue of Reading hero

Statue honouring Trooper Fred Potts has been unveiled in Reading

A statue depicting the bravery of Reading's only winner of Britain's highest award for gallantry - the Victoria Cross - has been unveiled in the town's Forbury Gardens.

Hundreds of people gathered to witness the event and attend a special ceremony to honour Trooper Frederick Owen Potts, affectionately know as Fred Potts, one hundred years after he rescued a colleague, Trooper Arthur Andrews, at Gallipoli during World War One.

The television presenter Chris Tarrant, has spoken about the honour of removing the covering from the artwork. He was involved in the public awareness campaign and fundraising efforts to get the statue made.

The story of Trooper Potts was not widely known, but that has changed. The Trooper Potts VC Memorial Trust was set up in October 2010 to raise money for the statue. The organisation brought more recognition for the Trooper Potts story. A street has been named after him, and now, his legacy will live on with the completion and placing of the statue at Forbury Gardens beside a military roll of honour.

Pride of place for Trooper Fred Potts VC statue

Crowds assemble for unveiling of Trooper Potts statue

A special unveiling ceremony is taking place in Reading's Forbury Gardens

He was one of Reading's bravest sons, and today a statue commemorating Trooper Frederick Potts is being unveiled at the town's Forbury Gardens.

The soldier is the town's only recipient of the Victoria Cross. The statue has come about following years of fundraising and campaigning by the Trooper Potts VC Trust which was set up in 2010 to create an appropriate memorial in his honour.

The Victoria Cross was awarded for Trooper Potts' deeds in Gallipoli 21-23 August 1915 when he rescued his comrade, Trooper Arthur Andrews from certain death over a period of 48 hours.

The statue is being unveiled today Credit: Andrew Pate

Man wanted in connection with sexual assault

Police want to speak to this man in connection with a sexual assault Credit: Thames Valley Police

Police have releasing an image of a man they want to speak to in connection with a sexual assault in Reading.

The victim, a girl, was walking a dog in Courage Park in Coley, on Friday afternoon.

She noticed a man staring at her and then a few moments later the man approached her from behind and touched her over her clothing.

Police want to speak to this man in connection with a sexual assault Credit: Thames Valley Police

The victim was unable to get away from the offender, who continued to touch the girl inappropriately.

The offender then followed the victim into Edenham Crescent where he again touched her.

“We would like to speak to the man in the CCTV image as he may have information which could help police with enquiries.

“If you have any information about this incident or recognise the man in the image please call the 24-hour Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101.”

– Investigating Officer PC Rebecca Nichols


175 crimes reported at Reading Festival

At this year’s Reading Festival 175 crimes were reported to police.

The Reading Festival took place over the bank holiday weekend from 29-31 August and over 90,000 people attended each day.

175 crimes were reported at this year's Reading Festival Credit: ITV Meridian

"The event takes a great deal of planning and the continued success of the Festival is down to the effective partnership between all the agencies including Festival Republic and Reading Borough Council.

“Police provide advice to Festival goers about personal safety and protecting property to reduce the risk of being a victim of crime. This year the predominant crime was theft from tents with theft from a person such as ‘pickpocketing’.

“We will continue to advise people to keep phones and money hidden at all times and not to leave valuables unattended in tents.

“There was a great atmosphere at this year’s event and I am pleased that the vast majority of festival goers enjoyed a trouble free visit.”

– Supt Rory Freeman, Silver Commander for the Reading Festival

Man jailed after threatening shop worker with knife

Steven Clark, 44 Credit: Thames Valley Police

A man has been jailed for four years for an aggravated burglary at a Co-op store in Berkshire.

Steven Clark, aged 44, of Newcastle Road, Reading, was found guilty by a unanimous jury at a hearing at Reading Crown Court.

On the 28 April police were called to a Co-op store on Church Road in Earley. At around 10.15pm Clark entered the shop and stole alcohol. He was chased by a member of staff who he then threatened with a knife. Clark was found in a garden nearby shortly afterwards and arrested.

I am pleased with today’s sentence. I hope this will help the victim and also serve as a deterrent to those considering arming themselves with a weapon.

– Det Con Nicola Wright, from Loddon Valley Local CID
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