BRAVE passers-by intervened in a violent attack on a policeman by wrestling the attacker to the ground.

Superintendent Damian Pettit, police commander for south Worcestershire, said the three people who stepped in had prevented the constable from being seriously injured.

The injured officer was sent to West Malvern Road, near Malvern, after reports of a suspicious person in possession of a knife.

The male punched the constable in the face and put him in a headlock after he tried to search him.

A witness said: "As I came down Beacon Road I saw the police officer out of his car and the man was grabbing him and holding him against the police car.

"At that moment a large lorry - a Travis Perkins I think - turned the corner and did an emergency stop in front of me.

"The driver jumped out of his cab and went running to the aid of the police officer.

"Simultaneously two men in high-vis jackets came running from West Malvern Road and went to the assistance of the police officer." The witness, who did not want to be named, said she drove away because her 82-year-old neighbour, who was in the car, felt scared.

However, she phoned her husband who then went to the scene and saw the passers by restraining the attacker. She added: "They held the assailant off the police officer and wrestled him to the ground."

In a letter to one of the passers by who helped the constable, Supt Pettit wrote: "Were it not for your selfless and speedy intervention, he could have been seriously injured."

Speaking to the Worcester News, he added: “It is never nice to hear of an officer being assaulted in the line of duty to protect our communities and his welfare is of paramount importance to us as a force.

“We are grateful to the three members of the public that saw the struggle unfold and immediately stopped to help the officer, this selfless act, that they each performed, is greatly appreciated by myself and the force as a whole.

"We have written to the members of the public to thank them directly, but I would like to reiterate how grateful we are for their fast response to help the officer.”

Other police officers were on their way to help the constable, who was on his own, when the incident took place just after 9.04am on July 4.

Backup police units arrived at the scene and the assailant was arrested.