Two police officers were assaulted with a knife in Manchester’s Old Trafford area in an unexpected encounter with an individual who appeared unrelated to the initial incident they were dealing with.
The incident unfolded on Wednesday, 26th July 2023, during a pursuit on Wood Road.
Greater Manchester Police officers were initially drawn into action around 16:00 hours when they observed a moped being driven in an erratic manner.
The moped eluded the police’s attempts to stop it, eventually culminating in a road traffic collision at the junction of Wood Road and Upper Chorlton Road in South Manchester.
An 18-year-old was taken into custody at the scene on suspicion of dangerous driving.
However, while officers were still at the scene, they were approached and attacked with a knife by an unrelated 26-year-old male.
In response, officers deployed a Taser to neutralise the threat, resulting in the arrest of the knife-wielding individual.
Standard procedure saw the man taken to the hospital to ascertain his health status before being formally put into police custody.
This incident is a sharp reminder of the perils facing the police force.
Recently released statistics amplify the issue, revealing that in the 12 months to March 2023, there were 2,917 recorded assaults on police officers within the Greater Manchester Police force.
This translates to a rate of 4.3 assaults per 1,000 officers, significantly above the national average of 2.9 assaults per 1,000 officers.
Officer morale could be taking a hit, as evidenced by the 1,043 police officers who resigned from Greater Manchester Police within the same period.
This equates to a rate of 1.5 resignations per 1,000 officers, again higher than the national average, which stands at 1.3 resignations per 1,000 officers.
The figures serve as a stark warning of the physical and psychological toll on police officers.
Situations like the unexpected knife attack in Manchester highlight the unpredictable dangers faced in the line of duty.
At the same time, the higher-than-average resignation and assault rates point towards an urgent need for measures to improve officer safety and morale.
Speaking about the assault, Superintendent Cara Charlesworth said:
“This was a serious assault on two officers who were simply doing their jobs and trying to keep members of the public safe.
“Thankfully the injuries inflicted on our officers are not believed to be life-threatening or life-changing and I commend them for their bravery in bringing the incident to a swift and safe conclusion without risk to the public.
“One has required hospital treatment and we wish him a speedy recovery.
“I can assure you that we are treating this incident with due severity and whilst I am pleased we have a man in custody, this investigation is in its early days and we are working hard to understand the full circumstances.
“I urge anyone with information about this incident that could assist our investigation to please contact police as soon as possible. This includes if you were in the area at the time and have any footage – including mobile, CCTV or dashcam.
“Anyone with any information should contact police on 0161 856 7621 quoting incident number 2401 of 26/07/2023.
“Reports can also be made anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
A spokesperson for the GMP Police Federation said:
‘The dangers Police Officers face to keep the public safe. Horrific news. Incredible bravery. Wishing our injured colleagues well.’
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