A Hackney Police officer left Curtain Road with facial bruises, scratches and a broken tooth in the early hours of Sunday morning, after trying to break up an apparently random fight.
Officers were first called to the scene in Shoreditch as a crowd of men were fighting among themselves and “knocking people down in what looked like pure random attacks”, Hackney Police reported on Twitter. They added that the men turned on the police and struck out violently, shoving one officer to the ground and “almost bottling him”.
The police called for urgent help, and supporting officers arrived within minutes. The Met Police Bureau wrote that the officer is “doing well” and did not require hospital treatment.
One 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and possessing an offensive weapon and cannabis. Two women, both aged 25, were arrested on charges of possessing an offensive weapon and actual bodily harm. All three have since been released under investigation.
The Home Office recorded 3,975 attacks on Met Police officers in the past 12 months, the highest of any UK police force. Despite this, John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, acknowledged that minor assaults are often left unreported.
Andy Rhodes, leader for matters of wellbeing at the National Police Chiefs’ Council, commented on the statistics: “All too often police officers and staff are subjected to assaults and threats. It is never acceptable to assume that [these assaults] should be tolerated – they are not simply ‘part of the job’.”