Shocking footage has emerged on social media of the moment a male throws petrol on some police officers as they attempt to detain a male who was suspected of stealing a motorbike on Canvey Island, Essex.
In the footage (below), a male can be seen to approach the police whilst they are trying to detain a suspect before throwing petrol on them directly from a red petrol can.
The officer who was the target of the attack, using no more force than was necessary, then strikes the male with his ASP in order to protect himself and his colleagues.
Youths in the crowd can then be heard encouraging the male to ‘set fire’ to the officers who are by now covered in petrol.
Even before the male threw the petrol on officers, bystanders can be heard goading other members of the crowd to punch the officers as they grapple with a suspect who had led them on a vehicle pursuit before being detained.
The footage highlights not only the serious danger that officers face, but also the vile and disgusting attitude of some youth towards the police.
Essex Police released a statement earlier on today in relation to the incident and confirmed that several officers required hospital treatment after have petrol thrown into their faces.
Superintendent Jonathan Baldwin said:
“While attempting to detain the motorcyclist, a number of police officers had petrol thrown into their faces and over their clothing.
“Two were taken to hospital to have petrol washed out of their eyes. A number of others were doused by fire officers at the scene with water.
“Fortunately, we do not anticipate any long-term harm will come to the officers involved and some were able to carry on with their duties.
“I am proud of the way my officers dealt with this incident, acting professionally and with dignity in the face of certain individuals who appeared intent on causing trouble.
“To be assaulted while simply doing our jobs – helping to keep our county safe and dealing with criminal and violent behaviour – is completely unacceptable under any circumstance.
“But, to have petrol thrown over their heads and in their eyes as my officers experienced today, is a despicable act of violence which we will seek to prosecute to the full extent of the law.
“I would urge anyone with information to call Basildon CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
The youth who appears to be filming the incident can be heard celebrating the attack on the officers and can also be heard shouting “set him alight”.