Reading police officer hit by stolen car 'attempted murder'

PC Gareth Browning PC Browning is based at Loddon Valley police station

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A crash that left a police officer critically hurt as he tried to stop a stolen car in Reading is being treated as attempted murder.

Gareth Browning, 33, was on foot in Whitley on Saturday evening, when he was hit by a black Mazda Aerosport.

A man, 28, and woman, 31 were later arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. A 34-year old woman was held on suspicion of assisting an offender.

PC Browning remains in a critical-but-stable condition in hospital.

His colleague was unharmed.

PC Browning has been based at Loddon Valley police station in Reading, since 2003.

'A shock'

The car, with registration number KB07 LBV, was stolen during a burglary in Sonning Common, just outside Reading, on 21 November.

It was later found abandoned in nearby Corrine Close.

Assistant Chief Constable John Campbell said PC Browning had become aware of the stolen car and was in the process of deploying a stop stick, which has spikes on it and is placed across the road to deflate a car's tyres, when he was struck by it.

A black Mazda Aerosport Police released a picture of an identical car to the one involved in a bid to jog people's memories

"Anytime an officer is injured in the line of duty it is clearly something that comes as a shock to us all," he said.

"That officer went on duty that afternoon with the sole purpose of protecting the public and he's ended up in a very seriously ill condition in hospital."

Thames Valley Police tweeted: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our injured colleague."

ACC Campbell urged anyone who saw the burglary or who saw the Mazda in the Reading or Sonning Common area, between 21 November and Saturday, to contact police.

The crash happened at about 17:30 GMT.

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