UPDATE: Police officer released from hospital after knife attack

Forensics experts were seen in Westmorland Avenue after Wednesday's attack
Forensics experts were seen in Westmorland Avenue after Wednesday's attack
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A police officer injured after being stabbed by a driver in Cleveleys this morning has been discharged from hospital.

Lancashire Police said the officer was carrying out a routine stop check on a Peugeot van on Westmorland Avenue, at around 10am, when the driver got out and attacked him with a knife.

Forensics officers have been seen scouring the street for evidence

Forensics officers have been seen scouring the street for evidence

The motorist then fled the scene, leaving his victim with serious injuries, including a stab wound to his torso and facial injuries.

In a statement, the force said the officer was taken to Royal Preston Hospital for specialist treatment. His family were informed.

The ambulance service said a helicopter, understood to have landed on a nearby patch of grass, was used to get him there faster because of his injuries, which were described as serious but not life-threatening.

The officer was allowed home last night.

The officer was taken to Royal Preston Hospital suffering from serious but not life-threatening injuries, police said (Picture: Melissa Cavanagh/Facebook)

The officer was taken to Royal Preston Hospital suffering from serious but not life-threatening injuries, police said (Picture: Melissa Cavanagh/Facebook)

A 39-year-old Blackpool man was arrested in the car park of gymetc, off Garstang Road in Poulton, on suspicion of attempted murder a short time later.

During the arrest the windscreen of a police vehicle was damaged with a pickaxe

The man remains in custody.

Rachel Baines, who chairs the Lancashire Police Federation, said: “Our thoughts are with this officer, family and colleagues at this time. This is an ongoing investigation.

A North West Air Ambulance helictoper at the scene of this morning's stabbing in Cleveleys (Image: Darren Todd/Facebook)

A North West Air Ambulance helictoper at the scene of this morning's stabbing in Cleveleys (Image: Darren Todd/Facebook)

“A male has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. We are supporting officers through this.”

Some 515 police officers were assaulted on duty in Lancashire last year, government statistics show.

Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, said: “This shocking incident demonstrates all too vividly the risk that our police officers run on a daily basis.

“We should be thankful the officer was not killed but it should mean we never forget the bravery that the police do need to show.

Police examine a van in the car park of gymetc in Poulton

Police examine a van in the car park of gymetc in Poulton

“This shows it can happen on any street corner in any town.”

Following the attack, officers taped off a section of Westmorland Avenue while forensic experts in full white suits worked to gather evidence from the scene.

Richard Bland, who lives in Kendal Avenue, was walking by at 10.30am.

He said: “We saw a lot of police vans and then an ambulance pulled up; then we saw the air ambulance land just across the street.

“There must have been about six or seven police vans. We saw them putting the officer onto the stretcher.

“He was talking and seemed to be in good spirits. He had a smile on his face.

“He was sat up and they didn’t have him in a neck brace or anything like that.”

Nigel Crossthwaite, of Penrith Avenue, added: “I came out of the house at around 10.30 or 11am. The police were all over and I saw the air ambulance take off.

“It was only later that I found out what had happened. Why anyone would stab a police officer is beyond me.

“It’s usually a quiet area. The chances of it happening again have got to be a trillion-to-one.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw wished the officer a speedy recovery, and added: “It’s shocking an officer doing their duty should be attacked so violently.

“They are serving our communities and there can be no excuse for this.”

Police tape also stretched across the gym car park, before a white van belonging to Fleetwood firm Ashton’s Roofing was towed away.

The van was not stolen, police confirmed. Nobody at the company, based in Warren Street, can currently be reached for a comment.

Beside the van was a police BMW X5, which had a damaged windscreen.

A Lancashire Police spokesman confirmed the damage, sustained during the arrest, was made with a pickaxe.

Nobody at gymetc was available for a comment.