• Tue. May 21st, 2024

Two police officers were stabbed in central London

A police officer has suffered potentially life-changing injuries after she was stabbed in in central London this morning.

Another officer was also stabbed three times in the neck and once in the chest, but is expected to make a full recovery.

Both are in hospital after the attack in Leicester Square at around 6am.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said a young female police officer suffered a serious stab wound to her arm which may be life-changing.

A member of the public is thought to have alerted police to the presence of a man with a knife before the attacks.

One man has been arrested.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said: ‘It is a terrible event. We do not believe it to be terror-related, and equally we do not believe it at this time to be related to the events that have been occurring this week.’

Much of London’s West End has been cordoned off, with crime scene investigators seen working outside a Shake Shack burger restaurant, located opposite the M&M’s World shop.

The Metropolitan Police said in an earlier statement: ‘On Friday, 16 September at around 6am 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.’

Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident, and it is not thought to be terror related.

Adam Hug, leader of Westminster City Council, said: ‘I am deeply concerned to hear of the injuries to two police officers in the West End, one of whom is said to be seriously hurt.

‘This shocking incident shows once again the risk police officers run in carrying out their duties.

‘At a time when we are expecting the West End to be busier than ever, Westminster City Council supports the police in keeping our streets safe.’

It comes during a massive police operation in London in preparation for the Queen’s funeral on Monday.

More than 10,000 officers are thought to be on duty in the capital at the moment, with huge crowds visiting to see the Queen lying-in-state in Westminster Hall.

World leaders will arrive this weekend for the funeral service on Monday, including US President Joe Biden and Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.

The cordon meant nearby West End theatres such as the Lyric were inaccessible this morning.

Police vans parked at Piccadilly Circus blocked motorists from driving down Shaftesbury Avenue.

Guests at the nearby Thistle Trafalgar Square hotel on Whitcomb Street were told by police they would be unable to return to their rooms today if they ventured beyond the cordon.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said two other police officers were injured overnight on police officers, one in a custody suite and one who was driven into in south London.

He said: ‘This attack on serving police officers in Soho overnight is utterly appalling.

‘These brave officers were doing their duty and assisting the public at this momentous time for our country.

‘My thoughts and prayers are with them, their loved ones and police colleagues following this disgraceful attack.

‘Our police officers run towards danger to protect others and keep us safe and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

‘I have spoken with the new Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley about this awful incident and remain in close contact.

‘Attacks against the police will not be tolerated and any perpetrators will be caught and prosecuted. I urge anyone with information to come forward to ensure the perpetrator of this disgusting attack feels the full force of the law.’

He urged members of the public to alert anything suspicious over the coming days to a police officer or a steward.