Police make second arrest following Houghton Regis double murder
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A second man has been arrested in connection with a triple stabbing that took the lives of two men and left a third man in a critical condition.
The attack took place on Tithe Farm Road in Houghton Regis shortly before 1.20am on Sunday (13 November).
A man in his 30s was yesterday (Tuesday) arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder and attempted murder.
It follows the arrest by detectives on Monday (14 November) of another man on suspicion of the same offences, who remains in police custody.
The second arrest comes as police and local councillors release a joint statement in response to community concerns raised in an open letter.
On Monday, Bedfordshire Police’s Chief Inspector for the Central Community Policing team, Cray Birch, met with local councillors, Cllr Antonia Ryan, Cllr Clare Coplestone, Cllr Abby Slough, Cllr Chris Slough, and Cllr Martin Kennedy, to discuss the force’s approach to tackling knife crime in the area.
The joint statement outlines the ongoing efforts to provide community reassurance, as well as looking ahead to how similar crimes might be prevented in the future.
Reflecting on recent events, Cllr Antonia Ryan, said: “Firstly, we would like to once again acknowledge the devastating stabbings in Houghton Regis that claimed the lives of two men in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“Our sincere thoughts are with the families, friends and loved ones of the victims at this very difficult time.
“We sincerely hope that the young man who remains in hospital makes a full recovery and receives support for the incredible trauma he has experienced.
“Finally, we would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to the emergency services that attended the scene for their ongoing work to support all affected.
“Following a fruitful meeting with fellow Labour councillors, independent councillor Martin Kennedy, and CI Cray Birch from Bedfordshire Police, we have agreed that we never want to see an incident of this nature occur again in Houghton Regis.
“To aid this, we have established a plan for preventive measures that will be put in place using a multi-agency approach. The first of these steps will include establishing a working group made up of key partners to look at the short, medium and long term strategy for knife crime within the town.
“It is imperative that we provide our residents with wrap around care that addresses the impact this event has had on their lives. For that reason, a hub will be set up with partners from mental health services, the police and Central Bedfordshire Council’s Community Safety Team, to deal with the ripple effect across the community and the trauma this has caused.”
The dedicated hub will provide bereavement, mental health and emotional support to all residents in the local community.
Chief Inspector Birch added: “While colleagues from our Major Crime Unit conduct enquires to progress the investigation, we have greatly increased our presence and patrols in the area and ensured we are on hand to support the public and alleviate fears following this shocking incident.
“The level of violence involved in this attack will have a profound effect on residents across the town. As a community policing team, it is our role to engage with the public and provide the reassurance they need to feel safe at such a heightened time.
“This week sees the start of Operation Sceptre which is a national week of action to tackle knife crime. Community policing teams around the county have been performing weapon sweeps, talking in schools and promoting our activities across our social media platforms as we commit to eradicate knife related violence in our communities.”
Anyone with information which could assist the investigation is asked to call 101 or report online quoting Operation Crux.
Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
If you have concerns about a young person that may be impacted by knife crime, our partners at the Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit offer tailored support to young people and vulnerable effected knife crime and gang activity.