Newham police escape: Cheering onlookers condemned

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Media caption,

The confrontation and escape were filmed onlookers

A police officer has condemned people who cheered a man escaping police after a confrontation which left two officers requiring hospital treatment.

The incident on Romford Road, Newham, east London, was filmed and shared on social media with laughter and shouts of encouragement clearly audible.

But Supt Roy Smith described it as a "sad state of affairs".

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of assault on police and possession of a firearm.

The fight broke out after two officers stopped a "suspicious" car and carried out a search on Thursday afternoon.

The men got out of the car and "a struggle ensued", the Met said.

A female officer suffered a broken bone in her right hand and a male officer sustained ligament damage that needed surgery.

'In harm's way'

Supt Smith tweeted it was "disappointing to see members of the public filming this and laughing at the officers".

Det Supt Sean Yates said: "Acting on instinct when approaching a suspicious car, [the officers] were confronted with two aggressive men who have intimated that they were armed.

"The officers put themselves in harm's way to protect the public and I would urge anyone with any information to come forward."

One man, aged 25, was arrested at the scene on Romford Road, and a 23-year-old was arrested on Grantham Road following a search of nearby gardens.

No firearm has been recovered and a "search for it is ongoing", the Met said.

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