A female police officer stabbed in the arm in an attack this morning in Leicester Square has suffered a life-changing injury in a “frenzied” attack, according to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley.
A male officer stabbed three times in the neck and once in the chest is expected to make a full recovery.
The officers had spotted an armed man close to the theatre district this morning, who had to be tasered in order to bring him to the ground.
However in the scuffle both police officers received serious stab wounds.
Sir Mark Rowley said in an update: “There’s a violent struggle with a fairly frenzied individual – tasers deployed, PAVA spray is deployed and then an officer uses his baton – eventually the offender is subdued and arrested. The two officers were rushed to hospital.
“We remain concerned the injuries to the young woman officer’s arm may still be quite serious and may potentially be life-changing but that’s yet to be worked through.”
Praising their bravery, he added: “It’s a reminder to me that with all the calls for reform in the Metropolitan Police – which are absolutely necessary – we should never forget that we’ve got thousands of dedicated men and women going out every day who are prepared to be brave for Londoners.”
The suspect was taken to hospital for treatment and is now being held in custody.
Video footage from the scene last night shows one officer being helped by his police colleagues, as they wrap a bandage around his bloodied arm.
A man has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and assaulting an emergency worker.
He was taken to hospital as a precaution and has since been discharged into police custody.
Superintendent Justin Browne, of the Met’s Central West Command Unit responsible for policing Westminster, said: “Every day, police officers got out on the streets to keep the communities of London safe.
“In doing so they often have to put themselves in the way of danger, putting their own welfare at risk in order to protect others.
“The actions of these two officers, and their colleagues, exemplifies the key value of courage that runs through the core of the Metropolitan Police and they will be offered all the support they need as they begin their recovery from this terrifying incident.”
Earlier, witness Arunas Ambrulevius had said: “The police had got the knife out of his hand.
“It fell on the ground but then he grabbed it and went at them. One of them had an arm injury, the other looked a lot less serious.”
Delivery driver Rhys Vaus, 27, said he was in the back of his lorry when police swarmed the area.
He said: “There was a bouncer who saw what happened, said it was gruesome, nasty, but he has gone home now, he was on the night shift.
“I was in my lorry doing a frozen delivery and the Old Bill came from everywhere.
“They were running, flying down the road. Normally at that time of the morning there is no one around.
“I was in the back of the lorry, I could hear sirens, saw one car, two cars go past. I looked out the back and saw a copper going down the back of the road.
“I didn’t actually see the stabbing I think it was on one of the side streets.”
A Met Police spokeswoman said: “On Friday, 16 September at around 06:00hrs police encountered a male with a knife in the area of Leicester Square.
“Two officers received stab wounds and are currently being treated in hospital.
“We await further updates on their conditions.
“Taser was deployed and male was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and assaulting an emergency worker.
“He was taken to a hospital for treatment where he remains at this time.
“Enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the incident are ongoing.”