A POLICE officer stabbed in the back may have been attacked with a knife or home-made shank as he responded to reports of ‘drug activity’ in Stamshaw Park.
Detective Chief Inspector Matthew Barcraft-Barnes said the 56-year-old officer received 'significant' injuries and is recovering in hospital but that the attempted murder investigation is progressing well due to ‘overwhelming' support from the public.
Senior investigating officer DCI Barcraft-Barnes has now turned to the public to ask for any video footage of the incident or aftermath, and if anyone has seen the weapon.
No weapon has yet been recovered.
It may have been dumped in a garden or elsewhere, the detective told The News outside Fratton police station in Kingston Crescent today.
A 19-year-old man, from London, remains in custody after being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
DCI Barcraft-Barnes said: 'It was a serious injury and very concerning for us, the officer is now in a stable condition and we're hoping to have a speedy recovery in the next few days and in the near future see his return to duty.
'We don't want to speculate at the moment, it may have been a knife, it may have been a home-made version of a knife.
'Until we have that confirmed all we know it's capable of giving the injury consistent with a knife or it may have been something similar, which some people will refer to as a shank or something else.'
He added: 'At approximately 12.14pm neighbourhood police officers were responding to some activity, believed to be drug-related activity from the previous day.
'They entered Stamshaw Park, they approached a male and from the interaction that followed that one of the officers received some really significant injuries from a bladed article.
'The male then ran from the scene and an arrest was made sometime later with a male from London, 19 years old who remains in custody.
'We're in the process of investigating the wider circumstances, interviewing that person and we're looking to go to the Crown Prosecution Service later on this evening.
'The support of the public has been overwhelming the Portsmouth community has really rallied round.
'They've assisted the police and given us lots of information and supported us with witness testimony, and we're starting to see a lot of people in the immediate aftermath have filmed a lot of the activity that took place.
'What we're looking to do is to speak to anyone with video-recorded footage to send that to us.
'There's a central mailbox which is email@example.com – please send us that footage even if you don't think it's important it may help us in our search.
'Equally with the male we arrested, we haven't found a weapon yet - we're looking to recover that.
'You may see police officers in the local area doing searches for that weapon.
'If you think that the male may have been in your garden in the local area and you see a potential bladed article that could be the weapon please contact 101 and let us know under Operation Stood and we will come and recover that.
'It's a significant injury causing the officer to need to go to hospital and need interventions at hospital.’
Call 101 with any information.