Police today arrested a woman and two men for attempted murder after two officers were ‘repeatedly slashed’ with knives in a horrific attack inside a shopping centre.
The men had been seen ‘acting suspiciously’ and turned violent after being confronted by two beat officers at just before midday.
Terrified children and shoppers watched on as the chaotic scene unfolded at the New Square shopping centre in West Bromwich.
Dramatic footage then showed the suspects being pinned down by police and passers-by on a pavement outside.
‘He had a blade and he was swinging it everywhere – head, neck, back, arms,’ an onlooker told The Sun, describing one of the attackers.
‘One of the police officers seemed to be bleeding quite badly. It was just absolute chaos. People were screaming and children were crying.’
Two men, aged 41 and 37, and a 31-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder as police put in place a dispersal order allowing them to search passers-by for weapons.
The officers were left ‘shaken’ but only received minor injuries, for which they were treated at the scene and then taken to hospital, a police statement said.
Two officers were attacked at a shopping centre today. Dramatic footage showed the moment the suspects were pinned to the ground
Two men, aged 41 and 37, and a 31-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder
Police put in place a dispersal order allowing them to search passers-by for weapons following the arrests (pictured)
A second witness said: ‘It was terrible, I saw one copper with what looked like a bad injury to his neck.
‘I felt sorry for the little children who were scared, it was awful for them to see.’
A third commented: ‘Very scary in Primark. Everyone ran to the back of the shop and someone shouted there was a bomb.
‘No one knew what was happening and we got locked in for a few minutes. I hope the police officers make a full recovery.’
An air ambulance arrived but was not needed. Later, a police uniform was seen heaped on the ground next to a Sports Direct.
A police spokesman said: ‘Just before 11.30am, officers were patrolling the town centre in New Square when they noticed two people acting suspiciously.
‘When they approached the two men, they became aggressive and attacked our officers.
‘They have received slash injuries which are not thought to be serious and have been taken to hospital to be checked over.’
Pictures from the scene showed a police uniform heaped on the ground outside a Sports Direct
The officers were hurt after reportedly intervening in a dispute between two men at New Square shopping centre in West Bromwich, West Midlands
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘Two police officers have received treatment from the ambulance service following an incident in West Bromwich this morning.
‘West Midlands Ambulance Service received a 999 call from West Midlands Police at 11.42am to reports of two police officers who had been assaulted in New Square Shopping Centre.
‘An ambulance, two paramedic officers and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford with medics on board attended the scene. Ambulance crews arrived to find two male police officers with non-serious injuries.
‘They were given treatment on scene before being conveyed to hospital by land ambulance for further checks.’
Police outside the New Square shopping centre following the shocking incident today
Chief Superintendent Ian Green, from Sandwell Police, said: ‘Fortunately both officers received minor injuries but are understandably shaken by today’s incident as I’m sure other officers and staff are, as well as our communities.
‘We had special powers authorised to carry out additional patrols in West Bromwich town centre as a result of an increase in violence in recent days, as our priority is keeping you safe.
‘We continue to keep doing all we can to reassure our communities and stop people who think it’s acceptable to carry weapons, or use them. There will be increased patrols in the area and the Section 60 powers will be continuing until 10pm this evening. We’ll share the details later on social media.
‘A CCTV trawl is being carried out and a number of witnesses are being spoken to. We will support our colleagues throughout their recovery – and others affected by what has happened this morning – and the pending investigation.’
A heavy police presence quickly flooded the area after the officers were attacked
A statement from the centre read: ‘A serious incident has taken place this morning at the shopping centre which resulted in two police officers being injured.
‘The men involved were arrested at the scene and the police officers are currently receiving medical treatment.
‘We are now assisting West Midlands Police in their investigation and we will give further updates once we’re able.’
Anyone with information should contact West Midlands Police via live chat on the force’s website or call 101.
Source: Daily Mail UK