PFNI Chair says officer in knife attack fortunate to be alive
The Chair of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, Liam Kelly, says an officer who was stabbed in the neck in an incident in Belfast last night is fortunate to be alive.
The officer and a colleague were attacked by a young man with a knife after they returned him to a Belfast Trust property on the Ormeau Road.
One officer was slashed on the neck and his colleague was cut on the nose. The officer with the neck wound was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery for the wound. The twenty-two year old assailant was detained for attempted murder.
Mr Kelly said: “This was a terrible incident that could have had a very different outcome.
“Both officers displayed remarkable professionalism when confronted by this knife-wielding individual who was clearly intent on causing great harm.
“In this case, the officers could have used their firearms to protect themselves, but they didn’t. They sustained injuries with one colleague requiring urgent hospital treatment for his neck wound. A millimetre either side of the wound could have had a very different outcome.
“The availability of Taser would have provided these frontline officers with an effective tactical option against their attacker and potentially avoided the inflicting of the injuries on them. We say again that Tasers are effective, protective devices and should be issued as standard to our officers. They are infinitely preferable to a firearm and anyone who thinks otherwise should look at this incident and ask the obvious question.
“My thoughts are with my two colleagues, and I hope both are able to return to duty as quickly as possible. They are to be commended for the care they showed this violent attacker in the first instance and their subsequent handling of a very dangerous situation. All assaults and attacks on our officers are never acceptable and must be condemned.”