Rayleigh stabbing: Off-duty police officer knifed multiple times

Church Road, Rayleigh
Image caption The attack happened in Church Road in Rayleigh on Wednesday evening

An off-duty police officer is in a serious condition in hospital after being stabbed multiple times in a "targeted" attack.

The victim suffered injuries to his stomach, chest and arm in the attack in Rayleigh at about 21:15 BST on Wednesday, Essex Police said.

A man was later arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is in custody.

Police said it was believed the attack was "targeted and isolated" and have appealed for witnesses.

In a statement Ben-Julian Harrington, chief constable of Essex, said the force was "supporting one of our colleagues who was the victim of a stabbing in Rayleigh".

"I can however confirm we have a man in custody who has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder," he said.

"We believe this attack was targeted and that the officer and the suspect are known to each other.

"There is no wider risk to the local community or other police officers as a result of this incident."

'Horrendous attack'

Police said he was in a "serious but stable condition" after undergoing hospital treatment.

He had been found at an address in Church Road and it was not seeking anyone else in connection with the stabbing.

In a Tweet, John Apter, the chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "Thoughts are with the officer, his family and his colleagues. Wishing him a full and speedy recovery."

The Essex Police Federation said Tweeted: "One of our colleagues was the victim of a horrendous, targeted and violent attack."

Karen Brian, who lives on the road, said: "I've lived here six years and we've never had anything like this down this road.

"It's a shock to all of a sudden have something like this happen at your door."

'Absolutely wicked'

Rayleigh and Wickford MP Mark Francois said: "This is an appalling crime and my thoughts are with the officer concerned and his family.

"Mercifully, while his injuries are serious, I have been told they are no longer life-threatening.

"Nevertheless, attacking a police officer on their own doorstep is absolutely wicked."

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