THE police officer stabbed by a London drug dealer has said he is ‘eternally grateful’ for the support of the city’s community.
Police today issued a photo of Michael Enzanga as he was jailed for the attack on one of their officers in Portsmouth earlier this year.
In a police-issued statement PC Russell Turner, who has now left Hampshire police, said he just wanted to help who he thought was a ‘vulnerable young man’ and protect people in Stamshaw.
His statement has been issued after Enzanga, 20, from Ashfield Road in Tottenham, London, was jailed for 16 years with a four-year extended term on licence.
PC Turner said: 'On the day this happened, PC Clare Parry and I went on patrol in Stamshaw Park with two objectives: firstly to find and safeguard who we thought was a vulnerable young man and secondly to protect the local community.
'Neither of us expected to get stabbed. Stamshaw Park should be a nice place to walk the dog, take the children to or just to go for a walk in, it shouldn't be a place where someone thinks that it is alright to deal drugs and carry a knife, and on that day in broad daylight during half term.
'Clare and I have been beat officers for a long time and have always listened to and tried to respond to what our communities are telling us.
'We are not unique in this and police officers do care and want to make the communities in which they work safer places for the public.
'That's what we were trying to do. That community has been fantastic in supporting us and assisting so brilliantly with the investigation, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
'I also want to say thank you for the support my family and I have had from colleagues and members of the public during what has been a very difficult time for us. It has helped immensely.
'I have now left Hampshire Constabulary, partly because of this incident, and want to pass on my best wishes to everyone and hope you all stay safe.'