Residents have spoken of their shock after a police officer was seriously injured in a stabbing near their homes.
The officer was attacked after pulling over a Peugeot van on Westmorland Avenue in Cleveleys.
Why anyone would stab a police officer is beyond me
The motorist got out of the van and attacked him with a knife, then drove off, leaving his victim with serious injuries, including a stab wound to his torso and facial injuries.
The North West Ambulance Service said a helicopter, understood to have landed on a nearby patch of grass, was used to get him to a specialist unit at the Royal Preston Hospital.
A man was in custody last night where he was being questioned by detectives.
Following the attack, which happened at around 10am, officers cordoned off a section of Westmorland Avenue while forensic experts worked to gather evidence from the scene.
Richard Bland, who lives in Kendal Avenue, was walking by with his dog at 10.30am when he realised something was amiss.
He said: “We saw a lot of police vans and then an ambulance pulled up. Then we saw the air ambulance land just across the street.
“There must have been about six or seven police vans. We saw them putting the officer onto the stretcher.
“He was talking and seemed to be in good spirits. He was sitting up and they didn’t have him in a neck brace or anything.”
Nigel Crossthwaite, who lives in nearby Penrith Avenue, added: “Why anyone would stab a police officer is beyond me. It’s usually a quiet area.
“The chances of it happening again have got to be a trillion-to-one.”
Police tape also stretched across the gym car park, before a white van was towed away.
The van was not stolen, police said. .
Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw wished the officer a speedy recovery, and added: “It’s shocking that an officer doing their duty should be attacked so violently.
“They are serving our communities and there can be no excuse for this.”
Lancashire Police Federation said government statistics that showed 515 officers were assaulted on duty in the county last year.
Police Federation chairman Rachel Baines said: “Our thoughts are with this officer, family and colleagues at this time.”
Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, said he was shocked by the incident.
He added: “This shocking incident demonstrates all too vividly the risk that our police officers run on a daily basis.
“We should be thankful the officer was not killed but it should mean we never forget the bravery that the police do need to show.
“This shows it can happen on any street corner in any town.”
A 39-year-old Blackpool man was arrested after the incident in the car park of gymetc, off Garstang Road, in Poulton, on suspicion of attempted murder . He was still in custody late last night.
A BMW X5 had its windscreen smashed with a pick-axe during the arrest, police said.