Belfast Telegraph

Police chiefs condemn 'Mad Friday' attacks on officers

Three police officers were assaulted on Mad Friday, with one receiving a head injury leaving blood pouring from the wound.

West Yorkshire Police's Bradford West Sergeant, Alex Artis, took to Twitter to post a picture of his officer's head injury, writing "this is not what we come to work for".

Tweeting on the last Friday before Christmas, Sgt Artis said: "Mad Friday is living up to its name sadly. 3 of my officers assaulted in last 2hrs. Sat at hospital with 2 of them. 1 with likely broken hand & 1 with this awful head injury. Assailants in custody. This is not what we come to work for. #ProtectTheProtectors #policingbradford

His tweet prompted a series of responses from senior police officers, offering their support and sharing their anger at the attack.

Andy Rhodes, chief constable of Lancashire, replied: "Alex the only positive from this totally unacceptable treatment of a public servant is that you , like all frontline leaders, are by their side. Total respect it's disgraceful."

While Sgt Artis's Assistant Chief Constable said: "Alex. I hope your team are ok. It's outrageous that officers are assaulted when they are trying to keep our communities safe. #unacceptable #ProtectTheProtectors."

West Yorkshire Police Federation also offered its support, telling the sergeant to get in touch if he needed their help.

While George Hamilton, chief constable of Police Service of Northern Ireland, described the assault as "outrageous".

On Saturday morning Sgt Artis tweeted an update on his officers' conditions saying that the one with the head injury - named as Simon - was "very sore and slept badly" so would not be attending work.

Of the officer with the hand injury, he added that it was not broken, but badly sprained.

He also thanked everyone for their support, saying that it had been overwhelming.

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