A 13-year-old schoolboy has been stabbed to death in a field near Reading.
Police have launched a murder probe after the boy was attacked near to a popular golf course in Emmer Green, Berkshire, this afternoon.
Emergency services rushed to Bugs Bottom field shortly before 4pm today – but the boy tragically died at the scene.
Unconfirmed reports claim he was stabbed in the back of the neck.
The boy’s family have been informed and no arrests have yet been made. Police have vowed to leave ‘no stone unturned’ in catching his killer.
A 13-year-old schoolboy has been stabbed to death in a field near Reading. (police at the scene, pictured)
Police (forensic officers at the scene, pictured) have launched a murder probe after the boy was attacked in a field backing onto a popular golf course in Emmer Green, Berkshire, this afternoon
One local resident said: ‘I feel so desperately sad for the lad’s parents – what must they be going through so soon after Christmas and into the New Year?
‘It is a real tragedy. I haven’t heard what sparked the attack but the fact the scene is in a field is quite unusual.’
Police and plain-clothed detectives were carrying out house-to-house inquiries within the police cordon this evening.
Emergency services (police at the scene, pictured) rushed to Bugs Bottom field shortly before 4pm today – but the boy tragically died at the scene
Unconfirmed reports claim the boy was stabbed in the back of the neck. Pictured: A forensic officer at the scene
Emmer Green is an upmarket suburb of Reading and north of the River Thames.
It is a popular commuter village for people working in London as it is within walking distance of the main Reading to Paddinton train lines.
Senior Investigating Officer and head of Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit Detective Superintendent Kevin Brown said: ‘This is a fast-moving and dynamic investigation, which is ongoing.
‘We are in the very early stages of this investigation, but we believe that the victim was attacked by two or three males, who made off after the incident in the direction of Hunters Chase.
‘There will be a very considerable police presence in the area of St Barnabus Road and Gravel Hill for a number of days, and we have a very large scene-watch in place.
‘I would appeal to anybody who was in Gravel Hill this afternoon and believes that they witnessed anything that could help this investigation to please make contact with police if you have not already done so.
‘This is an area that is used extensively by dog walkers, and I believe that there will have been witnesses to this dreadful incident, or who may have seen the offenders leaving the area quickly.
The boy’s family have been informed and no arrests have yet been made, police (police vehicles, pictured) say, as they vowed to leave ‘no stone unturned’ in catching his killer
‘I would ask anybody who was driving or cycling in the area and has either a dash-cam or a head-cam to please check the footage between 3pm and 4.30pm, and get in touch if it has captured anything that may assist this investigation.
‘Similarly, many families walk in the area, and so if anybody has taken photographs within the area around that time to please check these and contact us if you have picked up anything suspicious.
‘I would also be keen to hear from anybody with CCTV footage in the area, please can you check this and again contact us with anything that may be able to help us in this investigation.
‘You can call the 24-hour number 101, quoting incident reference 1069 of 3 January or call the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.
‘This is a tragic and shocking incident which has resulted in the death of a young boy.
Police and plain-clothed detectives were carrying out house-to-house inquiries within the police cordon this evening. Pictured: Police at the scene
‘We have specially-trained Family Liaison Officers supporting the boy’s family and the thoughts of all of us within the force are with them at this extremely distressing time.’
Local policing area commander for Reading, Superintendent Nick John, added: ‘This is a shocking incident, and I would like to re-assure the community that we are working tirelessly to locate the offenders and bring them into custody.
‘Naturally, this incident will cause huge concern in the local community, and I fully understand those concerns.
‘I would like to re-assure the community that we are leaving no stone unturned in this investigation and we have deployed a large number of police officers and staff to the area.
‘If you have any concerns or any information, please do not hesitate to speak to one of them.
‘We are in the very early stages of this ongoing incident, and I can assure you all that we are working to ascertain what has happened and arrest anybody suspected of being involved.
‘We have a strong local community, and I would encourage anybody who has any information that would help us to locate the offenders, please contact us, and you can do so in the strictest confidence.’