A FEMALE police officer has been left with a serious injuries after being slashed in the face with garden shears in Clacton.

The shocking incident happened after police received reports of a large disturbance in Jackson Road at 9.10pm on Tuesday.

The incident involved a disturbance between a group of adults and youngsters.

A number of police officers were sent to the scene and the incident moved along to the corner of West Avenue and Agate Road.

Two female officers who attempted to intervene between the two groups were assaulted.

One suffered a serious facial injury after she was slashed with garden shears. The other suffered a minor leg injury.

Det Con Lee Winfield, of Clacton CID, said: “This was a large disturbance involving lots of people.

"Although we have made arrests we are keen to hear from witnesses who can help us establish exactly what happened in the lead up to our two officers being hurt.

“If you were involved and you haven’t spoken to us yet, please come forward.

"Equally if you were in the area and you have mobile phone or dash-cam footage we would like to hear from you.”

Det Insp Jim White said the officer who suffered facial injuries was taken to hospital where she remains and is undergoing treatment.

“This was an extremely serious incident which left one of our officers seriously hurt," he said.

"She is currently at hospital but will need ongoing treatment for her injuries.

“Our officers risk their lives every day to keep the communities of Essex safe.

"Sadly this is just another example of the very high price they sometimes pay whilst carrying out their duties.

“If people saw this incident and can help us with our investigation then I would implore them to do the right thing and get in touch.”

Graham Webb, chairman of Clacton Town Partnership, said the behaviour of some people in the town centre has been "dreadful" since the start of the summer holidays.

"The police appear to have abandoned the streets of Clacton," he said.

"There are young people riding around on the pavement with their front wheels in the air.

"But we're getting it from both ends of the spectrum.

"On Monday the staff at Edinburgh Woollen Mill were getting abuse from drunks as they opened up.

"There's been a lot of trouble, but the attack on the police is an escalation of the situation.

"It's an awful incident, but it may spur the police on to do something."

The Gazette previously reported that shopkeepers had suffered abuse from a group of up to 20 youths who were meeting daily at the derelict yard behind the former Carlton Pub, in Rosemary Road, which was reportedly being used by drunks and drug addicts.

A shopkeeper in West Avenue, who did not want to be named, added: "I had already left for the day, but when I came back in the morning there were a lot of police about.

"There have been a lot of kids hanging around lately and we get a lot of drunks sitting around here - it has got a lot worse.

"It's terrifying to think that people are attacking police officers with shears."

A 23-year-old woman from Clacton has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of assaulting a police officer. She remains in custody.

A 21-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon.