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Plain clothes police officer stabbed by teenagers in alleyway

Published 23/11/2016

Police were called to the scene after the officer suffered non-life threatening injuries
Police were called to the scene after the officer suffered non-life threatening injuries

A plain clothes police officer was stabbed three times by a group of teenagers in an alleyway while working on a pre-planned swoop.

He was knifed just before 9.30pm on Tuesday in Bow, east London, by three boys and a girl, who are thought to have gone on to brandish a knife at a car driver nearby.

The attack came after Scotland Yard revealed that two uniformed police officers were beaten up by a mob of up to 30 schoolchildren in New Cross, south-east London, earlier this month.

One officer was beaten to the ground and repeatedly kicked in the head while his colleague was punched in the jaw when she tried to rescue him, after they tried to search a teenager they had seen hiding a knife.

The stabbed officer, who is in his forties, works for Scotland Yard's Specialist Crime and Operations command, which deals with serious crime across the capital. He remains in hospital where his injuries are not life-threatening.

Temporary Deputy Assistant Commissioner Richard Martin said: "Fortunately, the officer is recovering well in hospital, as his injuries could have been a lot worse.

"I'd like to appeal for any information or witnesses to the attack that took place. If you saw or heard anything that may help us catch the people responsible then please get in touch."

The officer, who was attacked near The Bow Bells pub on Bow Road, was on duty as part of a "pre-planned operation", the force said, which is understood to be ongoing.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "At this early stage, it is not believed that the youths knew that the person they attacked was a police officer, and that they may have been out socialising in the area prior to the attack."

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

According to Home Office figures, in the year 2015/16 there were an estimated 23,000 assaults on police officers in forces in England and Wales, including British Transport Police (BTP).

Health and safety teams from all forces except BTP received 7,903 reports of assaults involving injury on police officers and 270 on police community support officers.

The vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, Calum Macleod, said: "Our thoughts are with the injured officers, their families and their colleagues. These attacks are completely unacceptable but, sadly, are happening too often.

"To attack a police officer and those who every day put their lives on the line to protect the public is reprehensible. It simply cannot be acceptable for anyone to believe that being assaulted is just 'part of their job'.

"According to Government figures for the last financial year there were 23,000 assaults on police officers in England and Wales. That's 63 a day. However, we know that the reporting of assaults on officers could be better, and believe these figures are probably much higher.

"Like in any profession, police men and women should feel safe going to work every day."

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