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Two arrested after police officer hit by van in Merseyside

(PA)
(PA)

Two men have been arrested after a police officer was hit by a van in Merseyside.

The van was driven at the officer after he arrived in Hewitt Avenue, St Helens, at around 8.05pm on Tuesday following reports of a rucksack in the road suspected to contain cannabis, Merseyside Police said.

The officer is in a “stable” condition after he sustained serious injuries to his shoulder, right arm and right leg and was taken to hospital, according to the force.

Two men from Rochdale have been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and have been taken into custody to be questioned.

Merseyside Police said the incident occurred after the officer went to retrieve the bag and then approached a white Ford Transit van whose occupants were said to have been acting suspiciously.

The van was then driven at the officer and struck him before being driven away from the scene.

A short time later it was reported two men were running from a vehicle into fields near the East Lancashire Road, and had discarded a bag.

Officers attended, the men were detained, and the bag and vehicle – which had been left on Ecclesfield Road – were recovered for forensic examination.

Chief Inspector Jim Wilde said: “Every single day, Merseyside Police officers fearlessly put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public from harm.

Police Stock
The officer remains in a stable condition following the incident (PA/ Joe Giddens)

“Our Emergency and Priority Response officers are called upon to attend incidents that can involve a whole range of criminality including the use of aggression, violence and weapons.

“They do so willingly, because they have joined the police service to protect people and keep Merseyside safe.

“Sadly, this evening our officer’s dedication has come at a great cost to himself.

“Thankfully he is now receiving the care and treatment he needs, and everyone at Merseyside Police wishes him well. He will receive our full support as he recovers from this terrible incident.”

Chief Insp Wilde added: “We have made two arrests, spoken to a number of witnesses and are studying CCTV footage from the area following the incident.

“But I want to appeal to anyone who may have witnessed any part of it, or who has CCTV or dashcam not yet submitted to police, to come forward.

“Your information or evidence could prove vital as we seek to bring those responsible to justice.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the force via Twitter direct message @MerPolCC or at ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook quoting reference 22000339976.

Alternatively, they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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