Footage has emerged of what appears to be a violent attack on police officers in Hackney, East London.
Video circulating on social media shows an officer struggling on the ground with a man, while a female officer defends him and herself against further aggression. Two men have now been arrested on suspicion of assaulting police officers.
The footage, which was filmed by a member of the public, went viral on social media. It was branded "sickening" by Home Secretary Priti Patel and the police federation said: "We are not society's punchbags."
The officers, one male and one female, suffered minor injuries but did not require hospital treatment, the Metropolitan Police said. They were responding to a call from a member of the public who alleged they had been assaulted.
In a statement, the Met said:
As an officer attempted to speak with those involved, one of the men resisted and a struggle ensued. A number of other people became involved whilst the officer was on the ground.
It’s not clear exactly what happened, but the footage appears to show a male police officer on the ground while a female officer attempts to defend him from the attackers. The footage doesn’t capture the build up to the incident, or how it de-escalated, but it is thought more police were called to the scene.
Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said:
Yet again this starkly shows the dangers [officers] face and the bravery they show each and every day keeping Londoners safe.
We are not society's punchbags. We have families we want to go home to at the end of every shift, but the dangers are stark and seemingly escalating.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said:
I utterly condemn the disgraceful attack on two Metropolitan Police officers this afternoon.
These brave officers were doing their duty and assisting the public. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
The footage emerges amid warnings of rising tensions between the police and the general public. Last weekend police were accused of acting irresponsibly by riding horses into crowds of anti-racist protesters in London. An officer was seriously injured when her horse crashed into a traffic light, while protesters were also criticised when footage emerged of them throwing objects at police on horseback.