A POLICE CHIEF has issued a stark warning of the dangers officers face in the line of duty.

It comes after a policeman was stabbed in a “horrific” attack in Portswood Road, Southampton.

A 43-year-old officer suffered serious injuries after making a welfare check at block of flats on Thursday afternoon.

He was rushed to hospital where he remains at this time.

Daily Echo:

Chair of Hampshire Police Federation, Zoe Wakefield has since issued a statement saying: “We are supporting the officer and his family, as well as other colleagues involved in this horrific incident.

“The officer has sustained significant injuries and it is by pure chance that it is not more serious. We wish him a swift recovery.

“This is a reminder - not that we need it - of the dangers our officers face every day and how brave they are in dealing with those intent on inflicting this level of violence against them.

“There is an ongoing investigation so it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

Meanwhile, residents have been left shocked and frightened by the ordeal.

Daily Echo:

One man who wished to remain unnamed said: “It’s not a nice time anyway at the moment. When something like this happens on your door steps it’s even more sad. I just hope he’s ok and I feel for him and his family. There were about eight police cars and an ambulance.”

Another added: “I got back home about seven or eight last night and then I saw all the police cars. I’m just shocked, it’s normally a nice area and I haven’t seen anything like this before.”

Peter Crawford: “I saw the police cars there. There was quite a few, I think about 11 or 12 of them and an ambulance too. I was on the bus and they brought the guy out in handcuffs. I wondered if he was stabbed as they were bandaging up his arms and his neck. It’s frightening really. Nothing like this has happened round here in the past.”

The police community has also rallied in support of their colleague.

Daily Echo:

The SaintsfcCop Twitter account posted: “Thoughts are with my colleague, his family & those that would have had to deal with the suspect.”

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service added: “Our thoughts are with our colleagues at Hampshire Police and we wish the officer a speedy recovery.

“Assaults on emergency service workers are unacceptable.”

A 51-year-old man from Southampton has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and remains in police custody.

Witnesses are urged to call police on 101, quoting 44200400513.