An off-duty police officer is in a serious condition in hospital after he was stabbed multiple times in a targeted attack.

He suffered injuries to his stomach, chest and arm in the assault in Rayleigh on Wednesday evening, Essex Police said.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Police were called to an address in Church Road at around 9.10pm where they found the victim.

“The victim was taken to hospital where he has undergone treatment and remains in a serious but stable condition,” the force said. “A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder and is currently in custody.

“At this time detectives believe the incident was targeted and isolated and there is no wider risk to the local community.

“We are not seeking anyone else in connection with this incident.”

Essex Police Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: “Our focus has been his welfare and the welfare of his family, as well as the ongoing live investigation, and that will continue.

“I can however confirm we have a man in custody who has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

“We believe this attack was targeted and that the officer and the suspect are known to each other. There is no wider risk to the local community or other police officers as a result of this incident.

Mark Francois MP condemned the attack
MP Mark Francois condemned the attack (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

“Our officer is in a stable condition in hospital and we are hopeful will make a full recovery.”

Rayleigh and Wickford Conservative MP Mark Francois said the attack was “absolutely wicked”.

He said: “This is an appalling crime and my thoughts are with the officer concerned and his family.

“Mercifully, while his injuries are serious, I have been told they are no longer life-threatening.

“Nevertheless, attacking a police officer on their own doorstep is absolutely wicked.”

Steve Taylor, chairman of Essex Police Federation, said: “Last night, one of our colleagues was the victim of a horrendous, targeted and violent attack.

“He remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition. The thoughts of Essex Police Federation and the officers we represent are with our colleague and his family.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident 1274 of April 24 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.