STABBING: Man detained under Mental Health Act as MPs call for better police protection

A Peugeot van belonging to Ashton's Roofing in Fleetwood was towed away by police investigating the stabbing of an officer in Cleveleys yesterday
A Peugeot van belonging to Ashton's Roofing in Fleetwood was towed away by police investigating the stabbing of an officer in Cleveleys yesterday

The chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales said officers in Lancashire expressed concern for their safety during his visit to the county last week.

Steve White said more must now be done to protect officers on the front line, after a policeman was stabbed by a van driver in Cleveleys.

Forensics experts were seen in Westmorland Avenue after Wednesday's attack

Forensics experts were seen in Westmorland Avenue after Wednesday's attack

Writing on Twitter, he said: “Thoughts&prayers w the officer&their family. Visited @LancsPolice lst week&officers raised issue of their safety&protection. More must be done.”

The PC, now out of from hospital, suffered serious injuries in yesterday’s attack and was airlifted to Preston.

A 39-year-old Blackpool man arrested in connection with the attack, which also saw a police BMW X5 targeted with a pickaxe, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in the car park of gymetc in Poulton a short time later.

He was later detained under the Mental Health Act and is now being held in a secure unit, police said.

He will remain there until he is deemed fit enough to be interviewed by detectives, it is understood.

The attack, which happened during a routine traffic stop in Westmorland Avenue at around 10am, came hours before MPs took part in a Parliamentary debate on police officer safety.

It was there they called for better protective equipment, including spit hoods, body cameras, and more Tasers.

Shadow police minister Lyn Brown paid tribute to the officer hurt in Cleveleys and said: “Almost every police officer is violently confronted at some time in their career.”