SEVEN police officers were spat at, punched and kicked after they tried to break up a fight between a father and son.

Officers from the emergency response unit were called to reports of an ongoing domestic incident at a house in Point Road, Canvey,

A 25-year-old man had allegedly hit his 63-year-old dad before officers arrived.

When police turned up to safeguard the people inside the property, the pair turned on them.

Det Supt Kevin Baldwin, south local policing area superintendent, said: “As officers tried to detain the son, both males then assaulted the officers.

“One officer was grabbed around the throat and punched and other officers were punched and kicked and spat at.

“Officers come to work to protect the public, particularly with domestic calls where there are people at significant risk of injury.

“It is completely unacceptable that our officers have been attacked in this way.

“The officers need to have protection protection both with their own safety equipment and the protection of the courts that these individuals will be dealt with robustly.”

He added that the incident “argues the point” that officers should be given spit hoods to protect themselves.

Essex Police currently does not use the guards, which are placed over the head of a suspect, but the Essex Police Federation is in favour of their use.

Three years ago, the force bought a number of spit hoods and had drawn up a training package for their use - but the plug was pulled by chief officers at the last minute.

The father and son were later arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and remained in police custody at the time the Echo went to print.

PC Alfie McPhilimey, from the Castle Point and Rochford local policing team, received minor injuries during the incident.

He Tweeted: “We arrested a violent male who decided to assault me and six other colleagues.

“Thankfully only minor injuries. Officers are ok.”

PC Ian Risden, from the community policing team, added: “Never nice to hear and I wish the officers well. Sadly officers getting assaulted is a daily occurrence, but seven at a time is rare.”

Anyone with information can call Essex Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.