A FEMALE police officer was punched and kicked while lying on the ground after being beaten by a gang of teenage thugs on the doorstep of a police station.
She and her male colleague had rushed to the aid of a distressed young girl outside the Portobello base – only to be attacked by her friends.
Trouble flared after a group of up to 15 youngsters – all in their early teens – congregated on the High Street.
Several members of the gang assaulted the two uniformed officers in an “appalling” attack, while the others looked on.
Two boys, aged 14 and 15, were arrested and charged shortly after the incident on Sunday evening, while inquiries are ongoing to trace other suspects.
The attack took place at around 7pm, when the officers went outside after hearing a girl shouting for help. They tried to help the teenager, but she shouted abuse at them and tried to leave. When the PCs stopped her running away, other members of the group attempted to free her before launching the brutal attack. They then fled the scene, leaving the officers lying on the ground. It is not known whether they required hospital treatment. However, they are understood to have suffered cuts and bruises.
Chief Inspector James Jones, local area commander for Edinburgh East, said: “The public depend on us to keep them safe and in the course of duty our officers risk their own wellbeing for the good of the community.
“The two PCs who, thankfully, were not seriously injured in this isolated incident had attempted to help this young woman and were regrettably met with appalling behaviour.
“Violence against anyone is unacceptable and two youths, aged 14 and 15, were later traced, arrested and charged.
“We continue to take proactive steps to tackle antisocial behaviour and youth disorder through high-visibility patrols within the community, as well as reinforcing the message of zero tolerance of violence within schools through our dedicated school liaison officers.”
Local Labour councillor Maureen Child said she was shocked to hear about the incident. She said: “There have been incidents of youths creating some disturbances around the Rosefield and High Street areas of Portobello, and complaints about a group of young people causing difficulties. There have been a number of cases of unruly behaviour by youngsters.
“It’s very disturbing to hear of any kind of assault – I’m glad that police have arrested some people and hopefully this could be a chance for these youths to turn a corner.”
Portobello community councillor Sean Watters said: “How stupid they must have been to attack two police officers outside a police station.”