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West Mercia Police - Community Update from Superintendent Ivan Powell

Glenda Powell

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I have received the following update from West Mercia Police Superintendent Ivan Powell, They have given me permission to put it onto both mine and South Wye Voice to reassure members of the public.


Community update - Operation Dante - from Superintendent Ivan Powell.

As the policing commander for Herefordshire I remain committed to keeping you all informed following the events on the afternoon of the 2nd April 2013. In this update I have retained some of the original information to ensure continuity of understanding of how events unfolded, and how our investigations are progressing.


Operation dante is the operational name allocated by us to the investigation of the two stabbings.

The way in which events unfolded is as follows:


At approximately 3.42pm on Tuesday 2nd April 2013 we received a telephone call from the ambulance service telling us they were responding to a report of a man who had been stabbed in Marshall Close, Hereford.


At approximately 3.51pm a telephone call from a member of the public requested emergency services attend Hunderton Road, Hereford to assist with another man who had also been stabbed.


A significant number of police resources were deployed to both locations. these resources included firearms officers, plain clothes and uniformed response officers, dog units and regional helicopter.


At around 4.12pm only 30 minutes after the first call, two people were arrested at the Oval on suspicion of attempted murder. At 4.50pm two further people were arrested inthe Almeley area, and at 5.05pm a final person was arrested in the Almeley area. In totality within two hours of the time of the first incident reported, all five people suspected to have been involved were arrested.


This was an extremely fast moving investigation that required the deployment of a significant number of police resources. I would like to re-iterate some keys messages:

. These two incidents were linked and contained very swiftly.

. Five people were very quickly arrested eliminating any ongoing threat to the community.

. Those people arrested are not believed to be known to the injured men.

. We continue to have significant policing resources committed to the investigation, currently

concentrating on forensic investigations and reviewing all the information gathered by us,

including cctv footage and a number of witness statements. The majority of our house to house

enquiries have now concluded. Clearly a hugely important and substantial task for investigators

now is the compilation of the file of evidence.


I would like to thank all local communities in Hereford and Almley for their continuing understanding and support during this police operation.


Many of you will know the identity of the injured men, at this time we the police, are not overly confirming their identity simply to give them and their families the time and space in which to recover from their dreadful ordeals. Our thoughts are with them, and my officers remain in close contact. I am pleased to be able to report that one of the injured men has been released from hospital and he is resting and recovering at home.


It is important for me to acknowledge that theses were very serious incidents, but please be reassured that they are very rare, and there is no longer a threat to the community of Herefordshire


Clearly as I have indicated earlier our investigations has progressed significantly and I am now able to pass on some of that detail, Again whilst the identities of those involved in the commission of the offense may well of been revealed by other sources of information, now they have been charged with offenses I necessarily will not be disclosing their details myself.


On Friday 5th April 2013 (with the agreement of the Crown Prosecution Service) charged a man in connection with the two stabbings.

He is a 47-year-old man from Peterborough and he appeared before before Hereford Magistrates Court during that afternoon charged with encouraging or assisting in the commission of indictable offences, believing that one or more will be committed ( under the serious crime act 2007)


The charge is in direct relation to the attacks on the two men in Westfailing Street and on the footpath between Golden Post and the Belmont estate on Tuesday afternoon (2 April)

He has also been charged with a burglary which took place at a house in Kington on the same day (2 April)

He appeared before Hereford magistrates Court for a second time during the morning of Monday 8th April 2013 at which time he was remanded in custody and is now in prison awaiting his trial.

A woman in her 30s, who was also arrested in connection with the stabbings, was detained on the 4th April 2013, under section 2 of the Mental Health Act and taken to a secure unit outside Herefordshire where she is being assessed and remains.

At this time, we are happy that the three other men, all from Kington Herefordshire, who were arrested over the knife attacks, had no direct involvement with the stabbings and have been released without charge in relation to those offenses.

However one of them, a 42-year-old man, has been charged with handling stolen goods in connection with the Kington burglary and has been bailed to appear before Herefords Magistrate Court at a later date.

A second 47-year-old man has been granted bail pending further inquiries into assisting an offended wanted by Cambridgeshire police and also for handling stolen goods in connection with the Kington burglary.

A 43-year-old man has been released on police bail in relation to the offense of handling stolen goods,in connection with the same burglary.


As I have previously explained we have many officers committed to the investigation where we uncovered information leading us to suspect others of criminal offenses we will pursue them. I am sure this gives confidence to you all that we are professionally investigating all aspects of both the stabbings and the related matters we have uncovered. I will re-emphasis the point that we are entirely happy that we have arrested the offenders for the stabbing offenses, and no threat to the community now remains. To demonstrate this point I can also tell you that officers carrying out inquiries into the burglary at Kington arrested two more people during the afternoon of Friday 5th April 2013 - a man and a woman in the Belmont area of the city, also on suspicion of handling property stolen during the burglary. They have also been released on police bail whilst our inquiries into them and their criminal activities continue.


It remains for me to conclude by re-iterating the point that members of the public who believe they may have information relevant to any aspects of our ongoing investigation to contact West Mercia Police on 101 and ask for officers at Hereford, or please approach any of my staff who will be patrolling your areas whilst they continue with reassurance and high level visibility patrolling over the next few days.

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