Police officer injured by hammer during protest outside Kilmarnock house

A police officer hospitalised after being struck by a hammer thrown from a crowd which had gathered outside a house in Kilmarnock.

The officer was taken to hospital

Officers were made aware of the gathering of approximately 250 people on Hareshaw Gardens around 7pm on Monday, 26 October, 2020.

During the protest, a male officer was struck on the head by a hammer which had been thrown from the crowd during the incident.

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He was taken to Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock for treatment and he was later released.

Enquires into the incident are ongoing and officers are appealing for any witnesses to come forward, while urging members of the public not to take the law into their own hands.

Chief Inspector Steven Meikle, Area Commander for East Ayrshire, condemned the attack, saying that the consequences could have been worse.

He said: "No-one should expect to be subjected to violence while doing their job - and that includes police officers.

"We respect people's right to peacefully protest but someone brought a hammer to this protest and one of our officers was struck on the head with it. This changes the landscape entirely.

"The consequences could have been more harrowing, the hammer could have landed on a child's head, and our officers would have been expected to respond accordingly.

"The safety of our officers is absolutely paramount. They are relied upon to keep people safe but they are people too - being assaulted is simply not part of the job.

"The impact these groups are having on communities and policing is detrimental to our efforts to keep everyone safe. We can't condone nor do we encourage any group or individual to take the law into their own hands.

"If anyone has concerns or information they think we should know then please come to us and let us manage those concerns in a professional manner. Do not take the law into your own hands. Do not put the safety of other people at risk."

Anyone with information or video footage of the incident can call 101, quoting incident 2903 of 26 October, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111