2 Police officers stabbed in London, Scotland Yard rules out terrorism

Two police officers were stabbed as they patrolled in Leicester Square in central London early on Friday morning.

The Metropolitan Police said the incident, which took place around 6 a.m., was not believed to be linked to terrorism.

The two officers were attacked by a man, who was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and assaulting an emergency worker.

A statement from the Metropolitan Police said a Taser had been deployed to enable officers to subdue the attacker, a man in his 20s, who is now in custody.

Both officers—one male and one female—were treated at the scene by paramedics and taken to hospital but neither suffered life-threatening injuries.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy told a press briefing police do not believe the incident was terror-related or linked to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

He said, “It shows that we have brave colleagues across the UK responding to calls and incidents day in and day out.”

Cundy said a knife had been recovered and he could not comment on the incident while an investigation was under way.

It is not clear if the attack was linked to recent demonstrations against the police which followed the Sept. 5 shooting of an unarmed black rapper, Chris Kaba, in south London.

Mayor of London Condemns ‘Utterly Appalling’ Attack

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, condemned the attack and wrote on Twitter: “This attack on serving police officers in Soho overnight is utterly appalling. These brave officers were doing their duty and assisting the public at this momentous time for our country.”

Khan added: “My thoughts and prayers are with them, their loved ones and police colleagues following this disgraceful attack. Our police officers run towards danger to protect others and keep us safe and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”

He said he had spoken to the Met’s new Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, who took up the role on Monday, about “this awful incident.”

Khan said he hoped the person responsible would feel the “full force of the law” and added, “Attacks against the police will not be tolerated and any perpetrators will be caught and prosecuted.”

Hundreds of extra police officers have been drafted in from other parts of the country to help the Metropolitan Police during the Queen’s lying-in-state and in the run-up to the Royal funeral on Monday.

It is not known if the stabbed officers were from the Met or another force.

Attacks on police officers have risen in recent years. In the year ending March 2021 there were almost 37,000 assaults on police officers in England and Wales, an increase of 21 percent on the previous year.

In 2019 PC Stuart Outten was attacked with a machete in Leyton, east London, while performing a traffic stop.

His attacker, Muhammad Rodwan, 56, was jailed for 16 years in January 2020.