Justin Jackson’s dousing of eight police officers in Basildon in May sent shockwaves through Essex Police, and has been described as a crime “unlike any other” Essex bobbies have faced.

The police had been chasing a scooter driver from where people had gathered to pay their respects to the popular Denny Richardson, on Canvey, to Ward Close, Laindon, on May 5, and while they were trying to arrest the driver, Jackson appeared and threw a full watering can of petrol over them.

Southend Standard:

Attack - Justin Jackson pouring petrol over the officers

Southend Standard:

Footage - video by the police helicopter caught the incident

Some officers had petrol in their eyes and were left lying on the floor, unable to see.

Jackson was jailed for three years and nine months for the crime last week and must pay a £170 victim surcharge.

DC Natalie Backhouse, of Basildon CID, who led the investigation into Jackson’s attack, said: “This case has been, and could well be, the biggest case of my career.

“To have eight victim police officers, needing the help from other officers because of such an attack is completely unprecedented.

“It’s crazy to think that on a Monday I could have been sharing the corridors with these people having a joke and a laugh, and then the following day, they’re a victim of crime and being desperately in need of my help and the help of other people.”

In September this year, the National Police Chief’s Council, concerned over the number of attacks officers across the country were facing, commissioned an urgent review of officer safety.

Those findings will be heard later this month at an extraordinary meeting of the council.

The review is covering officer safety training, equipment, deployment and operational planning, investigations into officer attacks and the care provided, and the response from the criminal justice system.

Martin Hewitt, chairman of the council, said: “Policing is a career with huge rewards.

“Solving crime, seeing justice done and working within communities to improve peoples’ lives is what motivates people to become police officers.

“Officers should not have to face assault but we know there are risks in standing up to criminals and protecting our communities.

“Training, teamwork and public support gives them the confidence to face those risks.

“Chief constables are already increasing the number of Taser trained officers based on their assessment of the threat, risk and harm locally. But Taser is not the answer to all violent or threatening situations.

“I am determined this work will provide considered recommendations on what more we can do to protect our frontline staff, respond as effectively as possible if they are assaulted and push for justice to be done.”

Det Sup Jonathan Baldwin, one of the victims of Jackson’s attack said: “A week after the incident, I was filing my car up with petrol for the first time.

“As soon as I got the smell, I was instantly taken back to the events of that day, and it immediately caused me to come out in goose bumps.

“Whenever I leave my family home for work, I can no longer say ‘see you later’ without thinking ‘unless someone else decides to throw petrol over me again’.”