BORIS BLITZ ON VI­O­LENT THUGS

As hero PC is slashed in ma­chete at­tack, PM vows to re­store power to po­lice

Daily Express - - FRONT PAGE - By David Pilditch

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.

Pow­ers

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

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