Two police officers hurt after being punched and run over by driver trying to flee traffic stop in Essex

Tania Snuggs, news reporter
The officers were attacked on Drake Road in Chafford Hundred on Tuesday evening. File pic

A 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after two police officers were injured while trying to stop a car in Essex.

In an apparent effort to escape, the driver mounted a grass verge, hitting the pair.

One officer was dragged to the ground and run over, while the other was punched in the face.

The incident happened on Tuesday evening on Drake Road in Chafford Hundred.

The suspect was detained after a short chase and remains in custody.

He is also accused of assaulting a police officer, driving while unfit through drink or drugs, dangerous driving, failing to stop when directed and resisting arrest.

Chief Inspector Richard Melton said: "Fortunately, our officers were not seriously injured and they have been discharged from hospital.

"Specialist officers have been carrying out welfare checks with them ahead of their return to work.

"No officer should ever be assaulted during their job, helping to keep communities safe."

Since last summer, there have been a series of high-profile attacks on police officers, including the death of PC Andrew Harper, who died from multiple injuries after being dragged under a car.

A national safety review is under way after Crown Prosecution Service figures showed almost 20,000 offences were charged under the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act between November 2018 and 2019 - an average of 50 a day.

A review sample suggested nine in 10 assaults were against officers.

Essex Police are urging anyone with information following the incident in Chafford Hundred on Tuesday, or who has dash cam footage, to call Grays CID on 101 quoting incident 1191 of 14/01, or to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online.