Petrol bomb attack in Norwich
Police are hunting two teenagers following a 'deplorable' petrol bomb attack on PCSOs on a Norwich estate.
The two support officers were on routine duties, recovering a stolen motorbike from Woodside Road near the Heartsease, when the attack happened.
A beer bottle filled with petrol and stuffed with lit toilet paper was thrown at the police car they were travelling in.
It missed the car and landed in the street. The fire was quickly extinguished and the PCSOs were not injured.
Supt Paul Sanford, the city's police chief, condemned the attack, which happened at about 4.10pm on Sunday. But he added it was a one-off and he does not believe it will be the beginning of a trend of attacks on officers.
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He said: 'This is the first attack of this kind that I have been aware of in all my years of policing in the city.
'It is cowardly behaviour and could have caused significant harm to the PCSOs or members of the public who were in the area at the time.
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'I doubt that those responsible have the common sense to realise the potential consequences of their behaviour. We will make every effort to track them down.'
One resident said: 'It happened very quickly. We heard a commotion but by the time we looked out of the window it was all over.
'It is worrying because they could have hit a passer-by or one of the houses.'
Mr Sanford added that the youths may have bragged about the attack to school friends. They may also have provoked suspicion by filling up a petrol can or somebody may have smelled petrol on them.
The teenagers, both male, were described as white and about 5ft 10in. They escaped on bicycles towards Heartsease, past the snooker club. One was wearing a hooded top.
A Norfolk police spokesman said: 'This was an extremely dangerous act. We deplore any type of attack against our officers. Anyone who carries out such an attack can expect to pay the consequences.'
While attacks on police officers are relatively common - Norfolk police recorded 281 incidents last year - attacks on PCSOs are rare with eight offences recorded over the same period.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information concerning it should contact Det Sgt Martin Clabon on 0845 4564567 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
t Do you have a crime story for the Evening News? Contact crime correspondent Ben Kendall on 01603 772423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org