Man, 19, arrested after police officer stabbed near playground

A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a policeman was stabbed in the back near a children’s playground in a drugs-related incident.

The officer was in Stamshaw Park, Portsmouth, Hampshire, when the incident occurred just after midday on Thursday.

He was rushed to hospital by air ambulance, though his injuries are said to be non life-threatening.

A Hampshire police spokesman confirmed that a 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

The spokesman refused to comment on reports that the officer was working undercover.

Superintendent Steve Burridge said: “It goes without saying that our thoughts are with our officer and his family this evening. He is currently in a stable condition in hospital.

“The support we have had from the public so far has been overwhelming, so I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support as I know this will be a huge comfort to the officer, his loved ones and our wider police family.

“At this stage we believe that this incident is connected to drugs supply and officers were in the area following an incident last night.

“Our investigation in the neighbourhood continues, so residents will see officers carrying out enquiries and conducting searches, in particular for the weapon used.

“If anyone has any concerns or believe they may have found something that could be the weapon, please speak to us or call us on 101 and quote 44190063033.

“Anyone with footage of the incident should also contact us.”

Portsmouth City Council said the playground in Stamshaw Park had been closed until further notice.

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