A local church will be opening its doors to the community as a 'space to reflect and talk to a listening ear' following the death of a four-year-old in Milton Keynes.
A Milton Keynes church will be opening at 7pm this evening to allow a time of prayer for the community following the tragic death of a child in Netherfield yesterday (31 January).
Officers were called to an address in Broadlands following a report that a dog had attacked a child in the back garden of a property.
The four-year-old girl died at the property.
The Grand Union Vineyard church has announced it will be opening its doors to the community this evening.
"Our thoughts and prayers are for everyone involved in yesterday's tragic event," a spokesperson for Grand Union Vineyard church said.
"We are opening the church this evening at 7pm for a time of prayer for the community. It will be a space to reflect and talk to a listening ear."
Donna Fuller, a ward councillor for Woughton Community Council, said a vigil will be held at Grand Union Vineyard Church, Netherfield Campus, this evening to "enable the community to come together and draw strength from each other".
"It will send a strong message to the family that we are thinking of them," she added.
Officers were called by the ambulance service shortly after 5pm Tuesday, after a report that a dog had attacked a child in the garden of a Netherfield property.
The dog was humanely destroyed and no one else was hurt as a result of the incident.
No arrests have been made in connection with this investigation.
Superintendent Matt Bullivant said: “This is an absolutely tragic incident, in which we believe that a child has been killed after being attacked by a dog.
“Clearly, we are in the very early stages of an investigation, and it would be wrong and unhelpful to speculate as to the exact circumstances of this incident at this point.
“However, in order to ensure public safety, a decision was made earlier this evening to destroy the dog involved, and this has been done humanely.
“I understand how much of an impact this will have on the community and on the wider public, and people can expect to see a large police presence in the area this evening and beyond while our investigation continues.
“I would like to reassure people that there is no reason to believe there is any danger to the wider public at this time.
“Anyone with concerns should feel free to approach our officers and ask questions, but I urge people not to speculate about the circumstances, especially on social media platforms.
“I also understand that this case is likely to attract attention from the media. With this in mind I would like to ask that the privacy of the family involved is respected at this very difficult time. It is impossible to imagine what they must be going through at the moment.
“We will provide further updates when we are in a position to do so.”
If you have any information about this incident which you think could help our investigation, please call 101, quoting reference number 20230131-1546.
Alternatively, you can make a report online, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.