Two men have been arrested after a police officer was hit by a van in Merseyside.
The vehicle was driven at the officer after he arrived in the St Helens area at about 8.05pm on Tuesday after reports of a rucksack in the road suspected to contain cannabis, Merseyside police said.
The officer is in a stable condition after he sustained serious injuries to his shoulder, right arm and right leg and was taken to hospital, according to the force.
Two men from Rochdale were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and have been taken into custody to be questioned.
Police said the officer went to retrieve the bag and then approached a white Ford Transit van whose occupants were said to have been acting suspiciously.
The van was then driven at the officer and struck him before being driven away from the scene.
A short time later it was reported two men were running from a vehicle into fields near East Lancashire Road, and had discarded a bag.
Officers detained the men, and the bag and vehicle were recovered for forensic examination.
Ch Insp Jim Wilde said: “Every single day, Merseyside police officers fearlessly put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public from harm.
“Our emergency and priority response officers are called upon to attend incidents that can involve a whole range of criminality including the use of aggression, violence and weapons.
“They do so willingly, because they have joined the police service to protect people and keep Merseyside safe.
“Sadly, this evening our officer’s dedication has come at a great cost to himself.
“Thankfully he is now receiving the care and treatment he needs, and everyone at Merseyside police wishes him well. He will receive our full support as he recovers from this terrible incident.”
Wilde added: “We have made two arrests, spoken to a number of witnesses and are studying CCTV footage from the area following the incident.
“But I want to appeal to anyone who may have witnessed any part of it, or who has CCTV or dashcam not yet submitted to police, to come forward.
“Your information or evidence could prove vital as we seek to bring those responsible to justice.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the force via Twitter direct message MerPolCC or at Merseyside Police Contact Centre on Facebook quoting reference 22000339976.
Alternatively, they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.