Footage released of attack on police dog in Hull

  • Bodycam footage shows the moment Sapphire and her handler were attacked in Hull city centre

Police have released footage of the moment a police dog and her handler were attacked while on patrol.

German shepherd Sapphire was punched multiple times in the incident, in Hull, but still managed to chase down and detain the man, who was then arrested.

Humberside Police has released the video in the lead up to Christmas to raise awareness of the dangerous situations police officers and other emergency workers face, especially when when alcohol is involved.

In the footage, Sapphire is seen assisting her handler, PC Steve Matthews, intervening in an argument on Dagger Lane in Hull Old Town at around 2.40am one night in September last year.

After being punched in the face, PC Matthews releases Sapphire from his car, who immediately chases the suspect and pushes him to the ground.

Sapphire was injured in the incident. Credit: MEN Media

She went on to assist in holding back the rest of the group but suffered leg and facial injuries.

PC Matthews was temporarily blinded in his left eye after being repeatedly punched in the face, but both of them have now made a full recovery.

Posting the video on Twitter, PC Matthews said: "Sapphire was punched a few times and had a grazed front leg. She was fine but saw a vet as a precaution.

"I had concussion from the punch and multiple other punches afterwards and had blurry vision in my eye for a few hours but we were both back at work after our routine days off.

The man involved was charged with assaults on bar staff, PC Matthews, Sapphire and an officer who took him to hospital.

He was found guilty of all charges except the assault on Sapphire and was given a 26-week suspended prison sentence and a total of £1,200 costs.

CCTV footage captured the incident on Dagger Lane in Hull's Old Town. Credit: Humberside Police

Supt Lee Edwards said the footage showed the need for people to control themselves on nights out, especially over Christmas.

He said: "Whilst we really want our communities to have a joyful Christmas, it is really important that you do so safely when heading out to celebrate, and I want to make exceptionally clear that any type of assault on our officers and staff will never be tolerated and is wholly unacceptable.

"Police officers, security staff, emergency workers and working animals expose themselves to increased risks every day to ensure they keep the public safe. We will always run towards danger as part of our duty and service to protect people and we should not have to endure or experience any form of violence."

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