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Police search continues today to find man who assaulted officer in Dereham

PUBLISHED: 11:14 09 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:06 09 March 2017

Aldiss Park, the home of Dereham Town Football Club, which is close to where the incident ocurred.  Picture: Ian Burt

Aldiss Park, the home of Dereham Town Football Club, which is close to where the incident ocurred. Picture: Ian Burt

Chief Inspector Paul Wheatley. Photo: Morgan Hollis.Chief Inspector Paul Wheatley. Photo: Morgan Hollis.

Police are continuing to search for a man who went on the run yesterday in a chase involving up to 10 police cars after an officer was assaulted.

Norfolk police have confirmed this morning that the suspect remains at large and the search is continuing today.

The drama burst into life in Dereham yesterday morning when police had a report of a man apparently drink-driving in a blue Volkswagen Polo on Norwich Road.

The car was stopped and three men inside - who were known to police - tried to flee.

Two were arrested but the third attacked an officer by kicking him in the groin and head and ran off.

Around 10 police cars are understood to have attended and dog teams are now looking for the suspect. The two men who were arrested were detained and have now been released.

Eyewitness Kylie Ramm was driving along Norwich Road, following a blue car, when police appeared and “swooped in”.

She said: “At first I thought I’d done something wrong I was terrified, then I realised it was for the blue car. I saw the man get dragged out of the car by the police - apparently there was more than one person I didn’t see anyone else - then the officers handcuffed him and was searching him.”

Chief Insp Paul Wheatley at Dereham police station said the men were believed to be linked to drugs activity.

“The officer ended up getting checked out in A&E but he is fine,” he said. “Because of the assault he put out a call to all officers in the area so that is why there was a heavy police presence.

“Police were initially called because there were reports of a man who appeared to be drunk getting into a car and driving off but when the car was stopped it was clear the men were known to police from the Norwich area.”

Chief Insp Wheatley said the public were not at risk from the man on the run but if anyone saw anyone acting suspiciously they should call the police.

“There were two burglaries yesterday on Dunlop Road and we are particularly interested in hearing from anyone who has seen groups of men acting suspiciously,” he said.

“We will continue to look for the man and will concentrate on areas in Norwich as well.”

District councillor Alison Webb, who represents the Dereham Neatherd ward, said it was “quite shocking” to hear of the drama.

“You don’t expect that sort of thing to happen in Dereham,” she said. “If police are reassuring us that he is not dangerous then I won’t worry too much but it certainly doesn’t happen too often.

“It is encouraging to hear that the police are doing a good job.”

■ Anyone with information on the incident should call Norfolk Police on 101.

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