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Man dies in caravan fire

Police cordon off the scene of the fire in Whitley Credit: INS

A man's died after a caravan fire in Reading early this morning.

Police and paramedics rushed to the scene in Linden Road in Whitley after the fire broke out just before 6am but the mobile home had burned to the ground.

Forensic officers have been combing the scene for clues after police confirmed the cause of the blaze, which happened on a driveway outside a house, was unknown.

Foul play has not been ruled out.

Police cordon off the scene of the fire in Whitley Credit: INS

"That caravan is always parked there, but we don't really know who it belongs to. I thought it was a bit strange because yesterday afternoon I saw it had been moved and then in the evening it was back and a woman was out cleaning it. I heard some noise outside this morning quite early and went to the window and the whole caravan was all ablaze, in fact it really was a monstrous blaze with lots of smoke."

– Neighbour James Breadmore
Police cordon off the scene of the fire in Whitley Credit: INS

"We were called to a fire in Linden Road in Reading, Berks., at 6am today. A man was declared deceased at the scene. His next of kin are yet to be informed and he cause of the fire is yet to established."

– A spokesman for Thames Valley Police

Girl aged 15 due in court on attempted murder charge

The stabbing incident happened in Reading on Sunday

A 15-year-old girl has been charged with attempted murder after a boy aged 16 was stabbed in the chest. It happened at around midday on Sunday 7th June on Granville Road in the Southcote area of Reading.

The 15-year-old girl has been remanded in custody and is due to appear before magistrates this morning charged with one count of attempted murder and one count of possession of a knife blade/ sharp pointed article in a public place.

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Girl, 15, in custody after boy, 16, stabbed in Reading

A 16-year-old boy is in a serious condition in hospital after being stabbed in Reading on Sunday. Thames Valley Police were called to Granville Road in the Southcote area of Reading just after midday yesterday.

A 15-year-old girl has been arrested. Our reporter Mel Bloor sent this report from the scene.

“I would like to reassure the local community that we believe this is an isolated incident. We are investigating the circumstances fully. If anyone has information about this I would ask them to contact police by calling 101.

Officers remain on the scene and anyone with concerns can contact the police.”

– Det Insp Mark Spencer, Reading CID, Thames Valley Police

16-year-old boy stabbed in Reading

At 12.06pm yesterday police were called to an incident in Gainsborough Road, Reading.

A 16-year-old boy from Reading had been stabbed. He was taken to hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

Police arrested a 15-year-old girl on suspicion of GBH with intent nearby. She remains in police custody.

“I would like to reassure the local community that we believe this is an isolated incident. We are investigating the circumstances fully. If anyone has information about this I would ask them to contact police by calling 101. Officers remain on the scene and anyone with concerns can contact the police.”

– Det Insp Mark Spencer from Reading CID

Half of taxis in Reading fail spot checks

Taxis in Reading under scrutiny Credit: ITV news

Spot checks on taxis and private hire vehicles in Reading found that half had defects or failed to comply with the terms of their licences. Forty-nine vehicles were checked during a joint operation involving Reading Borough Council, Thames Valley Police and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency. Twenty-five of the vehicles were not in full compliance with their licences, including six which had serious faults and had to be repaired before the vehicles could operate again.

Eighteen problems were found with black cabs, including faults with fire extinguishers, lights and bodywork while six issues were found with the private hire operators, including faults with fire extinguishers, worn tyres and a licence plate not fixed. Five serious faults found on the Hackney Carriages included two worn steering joints, one chassis fracture and worn tyre, one break fault and one fuel leak.

Councillor Paul Gittings said: "These regular checks on Hackney Carriages and private hire vehicles act as a reminder to operators they need to ensure their vehicles are well maintained and adhere to the conditions of their licences. They also give passengers some reassurance that the vehicles they travel in are checked to make sure they are safe and in good condition."

New help for teenagers in Reading to deal with stress and depression

Advice booklet for teenagers Credit: Reading Borough Council

Secondary school children in Reading are being given a booklet to help them learn about mental health issues. The pocket sized book offers tips and advice on dealing with things like exam stress, depression and body image issues.

A BOOKLET outlining help and advice for mental health issues is being given to every secondary school pupil in the Borough. It's been funded by Public Health and is being distributed via secondary schools and is also available online at www.readingyouth.com.

Advice offered on stress, anxiety and exam nerves Credit: Reading Borough Council

Lead Councillor for Children's Services, Jan Gavin said

"This booklet has been issued in time for the exam season, but young people - in common with the rest of us - can suffer from stress and other mental health issues at any time. It has been produced with the input of young people and gives genuinely helpful advice on what to do and where to get help if you are a young person with questions about mental health."

To accompany the booklet, a special text number and email service is available until the end of the school summer term for young people to contact if they have any questions or concerns about mental health. Queries will be answered within 48 hours by a specialist in young people's health and wellbeing. Text 07537 414757 or email wellbeing@reading.gov.uk.

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More time for police to quiz pair about 'terror offences'

West Midlands Police will continue to question two people about terror offences

Magistrates have granted West Midlands Police more time to question a man and a woman from Berkshire arrested on suspicion of preparing for acts of terrorism in the UK.

Detectives from the West Midlands Counter terrorism Unit appeared before Westminster Magistrates Court in London via video link earlier today to submit their warrant for further detention of the man and woman. The 24-year-old man from Reading and 23-year-old woman from Wokingham were arrested on Thursday 28th May.

Two arrested on terrorism offences remain in custody

Two people from Berkshire remain in the custody of West Midlands Police

A man and a woman from Berkshire arrested by West Midlands Police on suspicion of preparing for acts of terrorism in the United Kingdom, remain in police custody.

The 24-year-old man from Reading and 23-year-old woman from Wokingham were detained at around 7.30pm on Thursday 28th May. It is believed that the pair are friends. They were arrested in an operation by the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit assisted by officers from the South East Counter Terrorism Unit.

In a statement released today the West Midlands police force said that the pair will remain in custody while inquiries continue. Police emphasized that the man and woman posed no imminent threat.

Reading Bridge to re-open on Monday

Reading Bridge has been closed to traffic for almost two weeks Credit: ITV Meridian

Reading Bridge is due to re-open in time for Monday's rush hour.

The roadworks are scheduled to finish over the weekend but there are some concerns that heavy rain might hamper their progress.

Reading Borough Council say they anticipate being able to lift the corden by midnight on Sunday - in time for the first school run after half term.

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