Basildon: Petrol thrown at Essex Police officers during arrest

Ward Close, Basildon
Image caption The officers were attacked as they arrested a suspect in Ward Close, Basildon

A child is among six people being held by police after officers were doused with petrol during an arrest on Sunday.

Two women, three men and a boy were arrested in Basildon, after Essex Police were called to reports involving a stolen motorbike at 16:30 BST.

While arresting a suspect, officers were threatened with a hammer and had petrol thrown at their faces, with two taken to hospital for treatment.

Supt Jonathan Baldwin said it was a "despicable, sustained attack".

The officers who needed hospital treatment had their eyes washed, with their colleagues doused with water at the scene, but no long-term harm is expected.

Police were responding to reports that a motorcycle was being driven dangerously along footpaths, through underpasses and on roads in the Basildon area.

After a pursuit, supported by a police helicopter, a suspect was detained in Ward Close.

Supt Baldwin said: "To be assaulted while simply doing our jobs - helping to keep our county safe and dealing with criminal and violent behaviour - is completely unacceptable under any circumstance.

"But, to have petrol thrown over their heads and in their eyes as my officers experienced today, is a despicable act of violence which we will seek to prosecute to the full extent of the law."

Steve Taylor, chairman of Essex Police Federation, said: "Police officers do not come to work to be attacked - and we join right-minded members of the public in being appalled at this latest incident.

"Thankfully our colleagues involved are recovering but this scary situation could have been so much worse. The force and Federation will continue to support them."

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