A MAN has been charged after a police officer was stabbed in an armed robbery on Sunday night in Wigan.

The incident happened shortly after 10.05pm at the AM to PM store on Gidlow Lane in Wigan when officers followed a man who ran off in the direction of Birch Street.

After catching up to the man, the officer - a man in his 40s - was stabbed repeatedly with a knife to the point that the weapon snapped.

The officer was wearing body armour and suffered minor injuries to his arm.

A 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of section 18 assault and robbery and taken to custody and a borough-wide appeal for information has been launched by police.

Stephen Unsworth, 35, of no fixed address has been charged with three counts of robbery, section 18 assault and possession of an offensive weapon.

He will appear at Wigan Magistrates Court later today (Tuesday, October 9).

Detective Sergeant Chris Broad, of GMP’s Wigan borough, said: “Officers are often faced with danger when they are responding to incidents, standing in harm’s way to protect the public.

“He was taken to hospital for treatment but is now recovering at home and we wish him a speedy recovery.

“We have launched a full investigation into this incident and enquiries are ongoing. I would urge anyone with any information to get in touch as soon as possible.”

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, added: "I am appalled by this abhorrent attack on one of my officers who was simply attempting to exercise his duty and keep the people of Greater Manchester safe.

“Thankfully, his injuries were not as significant or serious as they could have been, which is a credit to his bravery, the assistance of his colleagues and undoubtedly his body armour.

“The actions of both police officers were outstanding and are a testimony to what officers and staff across Greater Manchester do to protect the public."

If you have any information contact police on 0161 856 7967 quoting reference number 2,238 of October 7, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.