The shocking attack on the police officer in Leyton late on Wednesday night sent a shudder through the overwhelming law-abiding majority of the great British public.
Both the BBC and Sky led the news bulletins with the shocking details of the incident and it soon became clear that the seriously injured officer was fortunate to escape with his life.
Quite how, despite the severity of his injuries, he still managed to draw his taser, discharge it and, with his partner, arrest his attacker, will doubtless remain a mystery until his body-worn camera footage is released after legal proceedings have concluded.
The extensive coverage, whilst welcomed by a police service that feels increasingly battered and under siege, may well give a false impression to some that this was a ‘one-off.’
In fact, a cursory examination for last and this year reveals a disturbing number of life-threatening ‘weapons attacks’ on officers throughout the country.
The level of violence in these examples is extreme yet in many cases, officers still managed to make arrests despite their injuries.
The above examples are of incidents that are in the public domain.
There is no doubt that buried amongst police crime reports are numerous other similar incidents where officers have been faced with life threatening violence which have not, for one reason or another, been reported in the media.
Another worrying aspect of extreme violence against police involve individuals who use vehicles as weapons to attack officers.
The inescapable fact is that violence against police officers is increasing both in terms of numbers and severity and questions are rightly being asked as to whether unremitting hostility to police from sections of the press and political activists from both the right and left are helping to fuel the violence.
Even harmless fun amongst front-line officers, who face the above-mentioned levels of violence, on a daily basis, attracted the wrath of the usual police critics.
The fact that the officer survived the Leyton attack is of course welcomed by the police community and the overwhelming majority of the public.
One positive aspect of that survival is that we are spared nauseating, hypocritical crocodile tears from those self-same media outlets.