A heroic policeman who was stabbed repeatedly in the head and body in a ‘frenzied’ machete attack as he tried to fight off the knifeman with his Taser has undergone surgery.
The brave officer was said to have told his bosses he was ‘okay’ before he underwent the operation this morning for the injuries he sustained after he stopped a vehicle in east London at around midnight.
He was stabbed after attempting to stop a van at the junction of Coopers Lane and Leyton High Road in Leyton.
The driver of the vehicle, 56, initially failed to stop but then got out of the van and injured the officer with the machete, police said.
The policeman then managed to use his Taser despite having been stabbed in the ‘sudden and brutal’ assault, which lasted just seconds, with the alleged attacker, 56, then being arrested by another officer.
Witnesses described the attacker being pinned to the ground as he was arrested by another officer before being bundled into a police van after more than a dozen emergency vehicles arrived on the scene.
The officer, who has around a decade of police experience, was treated by colleagues and paramedics in the street as his uniform lay next to him on the ground.
The images above show the moment officers rushed to the scene to help their colleague following the attack
Residents in the area took to Twitter to share images of the scene as the officer appears to be treated
This morning there was a blood stain pictured on the road at the scene of the attack in Leyton (pictured above)
People in the area posted photos on Twitter of Midland Road (pictured above) where police had cordoned off the area
He was commended for protecting his colleague, who witnesses have described as a brunette woman, as well as those around him.
Commander Richard Tucker said the attack was ‘frenzied, unprovoked and shocking’, while Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was ‘utterly appalled’ by the attack.
One witness heard the officer screaming, while Muhammad Faisal, 31, described the aftermath as a ‘shocking’ scene.
‘We saw someone lying on the road. Next to him was his police uniform,’ he said.
‘They were providing him assistance to his head. We didn’t see the wound, but we saw a lot of blood.’
‘I saw one police officer was holding a knife. It was a machete,’ he added, describing the blade as ‘around a foot long’.
The Uber driver went on: ‘The first thought was maybe the man lying on the floor had lost his life. It makes you think because it was a police officer – people on the road for our safety.
‘It gives you an emotional feeling as well. That’s why we stayed to make sure he’s alive.’
The injured officer, aged in his 30s, was taken to hospital by ambulance. The driver, who did not require hospital treatment, has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and taken to an east London police station.
A crime scene remains in place in the area and police have said there is nothing to suggest the incident is terrorism related.
Residents in the area took to Twitter to share images of the scene, as blue lights lit up the street and police are seen on scene at the incident
After back up was called to the area officers can be seen stood around as someone is treated
Officers were pictured on the scene with police vans and cars after the attack in Leyton, east London
Local residents took pictures of the police van (left) and car (right) which attended the incident last night
Local residents have now revealed how the police officer’s colleague had been reduced to tears following the attack.
One witness said: ‘The officer was bald, his head was all bloody. They were fighting and he got a knife. He hit the police officer in the head and the police officer tasered him and he fell on the floor.
Did you see the attack? Call Terri-Ann Williams on 02036151762 or email [email protected]
‘It was a long knife. I don’t know where it came from. It looked like he really wanted to hit the officer. It was scary.’
She added that she ‘felt bad for the officer’ and said that a man from a nearby bus stop had ran to the officer to help him, while they waited for back up to arrive.
‘He looked quite hurt and his colleague was crying. It was a woman and I think she was a brunette.
‘He was on the floor, his hand was all bleeding and he was asking for back-up and he was asking people to call the ambulance.
The map above shows the area in Leyton, east London where the officer was attacked after doing a routine vehicle stop
‘She was crying and then she went inside the van and another woman went to go give her a hug. People were helping him when the other police officers came.’
She said the alleged attacker hadn’t been calm when they arrested him.
Youngsters call on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take urgent action on knife crime
Young people have called on Boris Johnson to take urgent action to tackle the knife crime crisis and make it a ‘top priority’.
Six youngsters who experienced first-hand the trauma caused by violence with the weapons have demanded a meeting with him after compiling an action plan of how to prevent more young lives being lost.
Labour Party MP Sarah Jones (L) poses with young people affected by knife crime as they deliver a letter to Downing Street
Delivering a letter to Downing Street on Thursday, which was signed by more than 100 young people, they also presented the 12-point manifesto on what they think would make the streets safer.
In the letter, the youngsters said: ‘More and more of our generation are still dying.
‘More needs to be done, as soon as possible. As Prime Minister we need you to make this problem your top priority.’
They worked with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime, as well as youth charities Barnardo’s and Redthread, on a report entitled There is No Protection on the Streets, None, as part of their campaign.
The manifesto includes calls to tackle what the group believe are underlying causes of violent crime, such as lack of housing, youth services and jobs, as well as a bid for more community police officers to build relationships in neighbourhoods.
Campaigner Zak Hall, 24, from Redbridge in east London, said urgent action was needed to tackle the ‘vile culture’ of knife crime that is ‘creeping in’.
He thinks those aged 14 to 21 are in the greatest danger of being drawn into knife crime and at risk of being victims.
Mr Hall said: ‘Some just feel it’s the new reality’.
‘He was moving around, he was shouting, screaming, ‘ah, ah, ah’. He was shouting, ‘leave me alone’. He was crying as well, shouting, moving around.’
It comes as Mr Tucker said this was a time that ‘courageous people needed to join the police’ and Met Police federation chairman Ken Marsh said ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to knife crime.
‘This is horrific news. Police officers across London are out there every day at risk protecting the public – and sadly, yet again, a Metropolitan Police officer has suffered a severe injury on duty.
He added: ‘Enough is enough. Police officers should be going home at the end of their shifts. Not to hospital.’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered his ‘sympathies’ to the officer and highlighted how he will continue to work to fight knife crime in the UK.
‘What this underscores for me is the bravery of our police, people who actually go towards danger to keep us safer.’
Mr Johnson added: ‘Also what it shows to me is the vital importance of investing in policing, that’s why we’re putting another 20,000 officers out on the street, and giving officers the legal powers and support that they need to tackle knife crime and other violent crime.’
Asked what his government is going to do to tackle knife crime, the Prime Minister said: ‘I think you’ve got to give officers the confidence … that when they ask somebody coming towards them who may be carrying a knife, which is a danger to them and to everybody around them, they have to have the power, the confidence, do that emotionally challenging thing and do stop and search.
‘We did a huge amount of that 10 years ago, we already got knife crime and the murder rate down, I think that’s got to be part of the solution now, as well as having tough sentencing for those who carry knives.’
The incident comes as new data suggests that the number of women and girls carrying knives in England and Wales is on the rise.
From 2014-2018 police in England recorded 5,800 cases where women and girls had been caught with a knife. The youngest having been caught was 7-years-old and the report found that the role of females in knife crime is often overlooked.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain this morning, Commander Tucker urged members of the public to come forward and highlighted that the officer from the incident in Leyton has now told him ‘he’s okay’.
‘After being stopped the man got out of the van and stabbed the officer in the head and in the body. The officer is in the Royal London, he is seriously injured but he will make a recovery, he’s having an operation at 10am and he is very shaken up.
This morning the Met Police tweeted that the officer’s condition had been assessed as not life-threatening
The van (pictured above) is believed to be that of the attacker and was pictured being taken away this morning
‘We have footage of the incident and I would like to thank members of the public who came out to help and the staff at Royal London.
‘For members of pubic who were there I urge you to come forward, while we have a man in custody we need to get a fuller picture of what happened.’
He added that the officers are ‘London’s officers’ and said this incident highlighted the ‘amazing’ job they do every day.
A crime scene remains in place in the area and police have said there is nothing to suggest the incident is terrorism related
The Met Police tweeted that an officer was being treated in hospital after being attacked
‘They are fighting some of the most violent people in society to make London safe. Policing is a very dangerous job at times and we do it to look after people’.
What is a Taser and how do they work?
Tasers – or conductive electrical devices (CEDs) – are weapons with a 50,000-volt electrical charge and temporarily incapacitate a person, in most cases causing them freeze and fall to the ground.
They are battery-powered and when fired two metal barbs connected to the weapon by a thin wire pierce the skin before the charge is delivered.
Similar in shape to a pistol, once discharged the electrical current interferes with the neuromuscular system within the body, which in turn should subdue an individual.
Police officer pictured above with an X2 taser which was used in the attack in Leyton
According to the City of London Police website, when the Taser current travels across the human body, the peak voltage drops to 1,200.
In England and Wales both the Taser X26 and the Taser X2 have been authorised by the Home Office for use by specially trained officers in England and Wales.
It was announced in December 2014 that production and sales of the X26 model would be discontinued by the American company behind the weapon.
As a result, in 2017 the Home Office gave the go-ahead for use of the X2 model as a replacement, which unlike the X26 can be fired twice if it misses or does not subdue the target on the first go.
According to the Metropolitan Police it was the X2 used by the officer in the incident in Leyton, east London, on Thursday.
Later on he added that he was glad it hadn’t been a ‘more serious attack’.
‘It’s shocking but, unfortunately, it’s not uncommon. This is a particularly nasty event but I would say there’s always a threat being a police officer.
‘There’s been a spike in knife crime, not just in London. In this case the man arrested is not a young man, he’s in his 50s’.
He described the attack as a ‘a symptom of people having less fear of the police.’
Mr Tucker added: ‘I’ve been in police for a long time – there’s certainly a sense of a lack of respect, not just for police but for authority.
‘The attack lasted a number of seconds, but the actual engagement with this man probably lasted about two minutes.
‘It was completely unprovoked, it was a straight forward vehicle stop for no insurance.’
He called for harsher sentences for knife crime against officers.
Mr Tucker added: ‘Anybody who takes a knife and is prepared to use it, you’re rolling a dice, it could have been murder.
‘At the moment the sentencing is down to the judges. The cop in me says ‘yeah, put them away.’ I do get frustrated sometimes at the sentencing.’
Asked if he believed the response of the attacker was due to ‘fear of police’, Mr Tucker, who has been at Scotland Yard for 33 years, said: ‘I’ll have to go and reflect on that.
‘I’ve been in the police a long time, there is certainly a sense of a lack of respect not just for the police but for authority, whether that’s people who work in a shop, drive a bus, ambulance staff.’
He added: ‘We want people to work for the police and this is a call for special people to come and join the police, who are courageous and brave and willing to go out and actually confront these types of people.’
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan praised the police force and said he is ‘utterly appalled by this sickening attack on a serving Met Police officer’. He added that the incident is a ‘reminder that our police risk their personal safety every time they go to work.’
North East Command Unit’s inspector Julia James described the assault in Leyton as a ‘sudden and brutal attack’.
She added: ‘What began as a routine vehicle stop has transformed very quickly and unexpectedly into an unprovoked attack with a weapon.
‘Our thoughts are with the injured officer and his family and we wish him a full recovery.
‘I would like to commend his bravery and resilience especially as he managed to draw a taser, despite being repeatedly stabbed, to prevent the suspect harming anyone else and to protect himself from further injury,’ she said.
‘This incident highlights the very real risk that police officers can be confronted with on a daily basis and the courage and professionalism officers demonstrate when doing their job’.
Police have asked anyone who witnessed the incident to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 and quote reference CAD3/8August.
Did you see the attack? Call Terri-Ann Williams on 02036151762 or email [email protected]
Sharp rise in the number of women and girls caught carrying knives as offences soar by 10 per cent a year since 2014
The amount of women and girls involved in knife possession offences has risen by 10 per cent each year since 2014.
Over 1,500 offences were recorded in 2018, which amounts to an increase of 73 per cent over the last five years.
It comes as youth workers in the UK have revealed that some women carry weapons for gangs as they are less likely to be stopped by the police.
Police figures show that between 2014 and 2018 there had been more than 5,800 recorded knife possession crimes involving women.
The data, revealed by the BBC, comes as youngsters from across the country call on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to do something about the knife crime epidemic in the UK.
The amount of women and girls involved in knife crime has risen by 10 per cent each year since 214 (stock image shows table full of knives)
This is while on a wider scale, knife crime has also gone up nationally after a spate of stabbings across the country.
Figures show that stabbings reached their highest level from 1946 after it was recorded that there were 285 killings by a knife or sharp instrument in the 12 months ending March 2018.
Data from 38 forces out of 39 in England showed almost a quarter of all offences involved girls under the age of 18, with the youngest found carrying a knife being just seven-years-old.
Police in London recorded a 52 per cent increase over five years, with 916 recorded offences from 2014 to 2018.
This is while Merseyside Police saw a 54 per cent rise, to 499 offences, while the number of offences in Greater Manchester doubled, with 95 recorded offences last year.
New data has suggested that women are often made to carry weapons as they are less likely to be stopped by police
Elsewhere in South Yorkshire, there had been a 82 per cent rise over the same time period, with 248 offences.
One community worker, who was a former gang leader in south London said there are ‘girls that stab’.
Jennifer Blake said: ‘For some women it’s a normal thing to have in your bag, like lipstick.
‘We have got girls that stab, but it’s just like the elephant in the room. No-one wants to talk about it because no one knows how to deal with it.
‘Everywhere you go you have problems with girls and their identity, their self-worth and those are the vulnerable ones that boys end up picking up.
‘Knife, guns, drugs – they are the couriers for it. They’re not going to get stopped by police, and the men know that.’
The Home Office recently said it would be investing £220 million into steering both young men and young women away from violent crime.