TWO police community support officers were injured during a street attack.
The officers were helping to make an arrest in the subway in Front Street, Shiney Row, when they were assaulted.
During the incident, the two CSOs suffered minor facial injuries but did not need hospital treatment.
A woman who works in the busy street, but did not want to be named, said she saw the incident.
“There were loads of boys and girls about,” she said.
“One of the officers was trying to arrest someone and then a boy jumped on his back.”
Another woman who works in the street and also did not want to be named said: “We heard the sirens from the police cars at the time it happened.
“One of the support officers we see all the time is a lovely lad, so it’s a real shame if this has happened to him.”
Retired Melvyn Dodds, 71 of Fatfield, who visits Coral bookmakers in Front Street most days, said: “You don’t expect something like that to happen here.”
Police chiefs have launched an investigation into the attack, and are today sending out a stark message that violence against officers will not be tolerated.
Superintendent Chris Sharman, of Sunderland Area Command, said: “CSOs and police officers are there to support our communities and help make them safer places.
“We won’t tolerate this type of behaviour when they are simply doing their job.
“We’re asking for members of the public to help us in making sure those responsible face the consequences and would urge anyone with any information to contact us.”
The attack took place at 4.50pm on Wednesday.
Officers believe there were a number of people in the area who saw it take place.
l Police have arrested two boys, aged 15 and 16, on suspicion of assault.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 ex 69191 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.