Detectives are appealing for witnesses after an off duty police officer was stabbed in the hand after challenging a man who was acting suspiciously in Rayleigh.
The officer, who is aged in his 30s, was walking his dog at around 9.15pm on Saturday, May 7. He was in an alleyway between Langham Drive and Bardfield Way when he saw a man looking into people s gardens. He challenged him and said he was a police officer. The suspect lunged towards him and stabbed him in the left hand with a knife before running off.
The officer, who is based at Essex Police College, went to hospital and was released but has since undergone further surgery.
Other officers and the police helicopter searched the area for the suspect but he was not found.
Investigating Officer, Dc Rachel Martin, of Rayleigh CID, said: “The suspect would have been covered in a lot of blood. I would ask anyone who saw him running away from the scene or anyone who may have information as to who this man may be to contact me as soon as possible.
The suspect is described as white, aged in his early 20s, of slim build, around 6ft tall and wearing a grey hooded jumper with grey jogging bottoms.
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh praised the officer who is currently training after joining Essex Police a few months ago. He is due to officially pass out at a ceremony later this month.
He said: “This off duty officer confronted a man seen jumping between two back gardens. When challenged, the suspect started fighting and pulled a knife. This brave officer sustained a deep cut to his hand and a wound to his shoulder but that didn t stop him from chasing the assailant.
“I m happy to say that his injuries weren t too serious but this was a distressing attack. Remarkably, despite the fact that he needed further surgery he was back in work on Monday. This demonstrates that police officers are police officers whether they are on duty or not. His neighbours should be very proud of how he stepped in to confront this individual but I need anyone with any information to tell us about it.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Essex Police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.