Wednesday, 26 June 2019
Monday, 26 October 2015

Teenage boys sustain gunshot wounds
in Burnham Park

12 police officers, some hidden in bushes, guard crime scene for second night

Report and photographs: Paul Janik

Late on Sunday evening, 25 October, Thames Valley Police issued a vague Press Statement at 23:18 hours that:

At 18.40 police received a report that two teenage boys had been 'assaulted' in parkland off Stomp Road, Burnham.

That 'parkland' was popular Burnham Park at the bottom (south) end of one-way Burnham High Street.

When police arrived they found a 15 year old boy with serious, unspecified, injuries and a 17 year old boy with leg injuries. Both boys were taken by ambulance to hospital. Neither boy's medical condition was thought to be life threatening.

Police think the injuries were caused by a discharged firearm but do not say whether it is a handgun or rifle.

Andy Williams, a detective inspector based at High Wycombe, said detectives are investigating how the serious incident happened and are trying to identify those involved and find them.

Mr Williams is urgently appealing to the public to tell police anything they know. He also wants to speak to anyone who saw or heard anything in Burnham Park between about 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday evening, 25 October 2015, when the incident occurred.

At the moment police think the attack was not random which implies the offenders either knew their victims or singled them out for a specific reason.

Call Thames Valley Police on 101 or on 01865-841 148 or give information completely anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 0800-555 111.

On Monday afternoon, 26 October, at 16:44 police issued an update saying:

  • Both boys had serious leg injuries
  • The older boy, the 17 year old, also had hand injuries.
  • Both boys remain in hospital receiving treatment.
  • The boys' medical condition is stable.
  • The incident occurred in the south-west area of Burnham Park, close to Priory Road at the junction with Stomp Road.
  • The incident happened between 18:00 and 18:40 on Sunday 25 October.

Police repeated their appeal for the public's help. If anyone knows anything or heard anything or saw anything, please ring the police on 101 or on 01865-841 148 or give information anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 0800-555 111.

On Monday evening, more than 27 hours after the discovery of the seriously injured boys, a special squad of 12 uniformed police officers from several areas guarded all entrances into Burnham Park.

The Slough Times saw police officers patrolling the area in the dark, while others appeared hidden in the bushes, challenging anyone who got too near the cordoned-off public park.

The police decision to guard the crime scene with a large number of officers, in addition to an increased mobile presence in the area, demonstrates Thames Valley Police's determination to resolve the case and to reassure the public especially parents of school aged children.

Tuesday 27 October : Update

This morning armed police swooped on addresses in Burnham and Slough and arrested two 18-year-old men on suspicion of attempted murder.

This afternoon police swooped again at an address in Burnham arresting a 24-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of attempted murder.

All 4 males remain in police custody at Maidenhead Police Station. Their arrests are in connection with Sunday evening's incident in Burnham Park when 15-year-old and 17-year-old boys were seriously injured. The injured boys remain in hospital.

Police have refused to say what type of firearm was involved although there is speculation it may have been a shotgun. A police spokesman told the Slough Times:

As you can probably appreciate this is a live and ongoing investigation so I cannot go in to further detail at this time.

Police repeated their appeal for information asking anyone who knows anything, or heard anything or saw anything in Burnham Park or in any of the surrounding roads between 17:30 and 18:40 on Sunday 25 October 2015, to ring the police in confidence on 101 or 01865-841 148 or completely anonymously on 0800-555 111.

The 0800-555 111 number is operated by the Crime Stoppers charity. They never ask for your personal details, your call is never recorded or traced and you never have to give evidence in court.

Thursday 29 October : Update

This morning armed police raided a Slough address and arrested two girls, aged 15 and 17 on suspicion of possession of a firearm.

This brings the total of arrested Burnham and Slough locals to 6. It should be remembered that Burnham is one side of a road and Slough the other side,

  • 15 years-old girl
  • 15 years-old boy
  • 17 years-old girl
  • two 18 years-old men
  • 24 years-old man

All the arrested people remain in police custody. Police have not stated whether the children, the two 15 years-olds and the 17 years-old have been sent to secure council accommodation.

Normally the maximum time an uncharged person can be kept in a cell is 1 day (24 hours). When the crime is very serious, the time limit is extended to 4 days (96 hours). Terrorism suspects can be detained for 14 days.

When the 96 hours limit approaches, police have a dilemma:

  • Arrest the person for suspicion of a new offence and thus re-start the custody limit clock, or
  • Charge the person with any offence (this has to be agreed by the Crown Prosecution Service 'CPS') then keep them in custody to appear at a Magistrates Court, or
  • Release them completely free, or
  • Release them on bail.

The 4 days (96 hours) maximum custody limit, for Tuesday's first 4 arrests, expires on Saturday, 31 October.

Friday 30 October : Update

This morning all 4 males, the 15 years-old boy, the two 18 years-olds men and the 24-years-old man, were released without charge.

This afternoon police announced the 15 years-old and 17 years-old girls have been released on police bail until Wednesday, 4 November 2015. This means no suspects are currently in police custody.

Police have ignored all requests for the type of firearm which caused injuries to the hand of one, and the legs of both, boy victims.

The police investigation, having hit a wall of silence, has been taken-over by Thames Valley Police's Major Crimes Unit under the leadership of 'Senior Investigating Officer' Detective Chief Inspector Ailse J Kent.

Mrs Kent has served most of her 16 years as a police officer in and around Slough. She is very familiar with Burnham and the surrounding area.

Police desperately need the public's help. They again appeal to witnesses, or anyone who noticed anything, to contact them or Crime Stoppers.

Tuesday 3 November : Update

Police arrested a seventh person, a 19 years-old man from Slough, on suspicion of attempted murder. The man was released on police bail until Monday 30 November.

Friday 6 November : Update

Thames Valley Police continue their news 'black-out' by refusing to state what type of firearm they believe was involved. A police spokesman told the Slough Times:

cannot go in to further operational details ..... this is still a live investigation.

No news on whether the police have found the gun will worry residents especially parents with young children. It is unsafe to have loaded firearms in the hands of teenagers, criminals, mentally disturbed individuals and people with grudges. Everyone is potentially vulnerable, especially when those holding the loaded firearms are inexperienced and untrained.

Police have extended the girls' bail:

  • the 17-year-old girl until Wednesday 18 November.
  • the 15-year-old girl until Monday 23 November.

A Slough teenager told the Slough Times the firearm was a handgun and its discharge was an accident.

The police's Wednesday 4 November repeated appeal to the public for help and information suggests their investigation is struggling having encountered a wall of teenage silence.

It is essential the source of the gun and ammunition is tracked-down and put out-of-business. Thames Valley Police have yet to comment on this important aspect.