Police officer suffers serious burns in 'attempted murder' during eviction

30-year-old man remains in police custody following attack

Kate Ng
Friday 11 September 2020 19:59
The police officer was attacked while helping bailiffs with an eviction from private land in Newquay, Cornwall
The police officer was attacked while helping bailiffs with an eviction from private land in Newquay, Cornwall

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a police officer suffered severe burns to his arms and legs.

The 51-year-old officer was attacked when he was called out to help bailiffs with a civil eviction from private land in Newquay, Cornwall.

He was airlifted to hospital for treatment to his injuries, which are described as "significant" but not life-threatening.

Home secretary Priti patel condemned the attack as a "truly apalling and unacceptable incident", adding: "My thoughts are with this brave officer and his loved ones at this time."

Crime and policing minister Kit Malthouse tweeted: "All thoughts with this brave officer and his family. Swift and certain justice must follow for the perpetrator."

A 30-year-old man from Newquay is in custody after being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the unnamed officer had responded to a call at 10.20am on Friday about a man "behaving aggressively" in Trevenson Road.

His burns were caused by fire and not by any chemical or corrosive substance, the force added.

Chief Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith, police commander for Cornwall, said the officer's life had been saved by the colleagues who "turned up in great numbers from all around the county, very quickly".

He added: "The injured officer is a Newquay officer. He's a very well-known and very well-respected officer from the town," the commander said.

"He has sustained significant injury but I am pleased to say it's not life-threatening. He is conscious, he is sat up in his hospital bed and he's talking to us on the telephone. He is in good spirits."

Mr Drummon-Smith said the incident demonstrated "the bravery of police officers up and down the country".

Retired Newquay police inspector Dave Meredith tweeted: "I have had the privilege of working alongside this officer for over a decade.

"You could find no better police officer and friend. All the best and get well soon mate."

Additional reporting by Press Association