BORIS BLITZ ON VIOLENT THUGS
As hero PC is slashed in machete attack, PM vows to restore power to police
BORIS Johnson yesterday vowed to tackle violent crime and restore “power” to frontline police.
His pledge came after a hero PC was repeatedly stabbed and slashed in a machete attack. The
Prime Minister pledged to act immediately in a blitz on violent crime by investing in policing, relaxing restrictions on stop and search and toughening sentencing for offenders who carry knives.
Mr Johnson spoke out after senior police praised the bravery of the “amazing” officer who was left seriously injured after he was hacked across his face, hand and arm with a foot-long blade as he shielded a colleague from the attacker.
Incredibly, the critically injured 28-year-old officer protected his female colleague by subduing the man with a Taser as the attack was taking place.
The patrol officer was saved by colleagues and paramedics who battled to treat him on the street as his uniform lay next to him on the ground.
Despite suffering multiple injuries in the attack he bravely told bosses yesterday: “I’m OK.”
The officer, whose name has not been released, underwent surgery yesterday morning and is now out of danger. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Mr Johnson said the attack “underscores for me the bravery of our police, people who actually go towards danger to keep us safer”.
He 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.
“You talk of the powers they need – do you think regular officers such as this one need to be armed in situations like this?
“Knife crime is soaring – what is this government going to do to tackle that?
“I think you’ve got to give officers the confidence that when they ask someone coming towards them, who may be carrying a knife, which is a danger to them and to everybody around them, that they have to have the power, the confidence to do that emotionally challenging thing and do stop and search.
“We did a huge amount of that 10 years ago. We really 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.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was “absolutely horrified by the shocking stabbing of one of our brave police officers”.
She added: “His courage in the face of danger shows how police put their lives on the line to protect us every day.
“I wish the officer a full recovery and my thoughts are with him.” The attack happened in Leyton, east London, shortly after midnight.
The police officer was subjected to the attack after attempting to stop a white van that had triggered a police automatic number plate reader for allegedly having no insurance.
Following a short pursuit the driver finally pulled over but allegedly became aggressive as the officer tried to speak to him.
A struggle broke out after the man got back into his van and tried to drive off – before the machete was produced. With blood pouring from his wounds, the hero PC pulled out is stun gun and blasted the attacker.
Passers-by rushed to help the officer and helped detain the man before reinforcements arrived.
The man was then pinned to the ground before being led away. He was not injured.
Eyewitnesses Muhammad Faisal, 31, said: “We saw someone lying on the road. Next to him was his police uniform.
“They were providing him assistance to his head. The first thought was maybe the man lying on the floor had lost his life.
“All this time they were providing first aid, trying to stop the bleeding and giving him CPR.”
Last night a 56-year-old man was charged with attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon.
He will appear at Thames magistrates court today.
Scotland Yard said: “The officer remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition.”
THE heroism of the Metropolitan Police officer who shielded his colleague from a machete-wielding suspect is as remarkable as the violence of the attack is horrific. The officer was slashed across the face, hand and arm but still succeeded in subduing him with a Taser.
It is now time for politicians to act with similar urgency, skill and determination to end the routine killing and mutilation that has brought abject suffering to communities across our country.
Boris Johnson is right to vow to give officers the “power” and the “confidence” they need to tackle knife crime, and forces across Britain are waiting for the promised 20,000 boost in police numbers. The Prime Minister must not let down the men and women who tonight will be out on the frontline of the battle against this butchery.
Home Secretary Priti Patel wants criminals to “literally feel terror”. But at present the people who are terrified in our nation are those who live in dread of being burgled or mugged by crazed individuals in the grip of drug addiction. Parents daily worry that their son or daughter will be stabbed by members of a murderous gang.
Our police are struggling to cope with the consequences of social decay. Schools, social services and the NHS all have a vital role to play in helping people break free of addictions and escape gang culture. And churches, charities and youth organisations valiantly rescue lives.
But the sacrifice and heroism of the wounded officer reminds us that we also need police forces empowered to pursue and arrest criminals who are nothing less than agents of evil.
The injured police officer is treated at the scene, left, which was sealed off by the emergency services. Below, eyewitness Muhammad Faisal