A 61-year-old man knifed multiple times in north London was a social worker trying to check on the welfare of vulnerable children, the Metropolitan Police has said.
The social worker was accompanied by two police officers who also sustained injuries in the attack on Friday evening, the force said.
Police were called just before 8pm to an address in Noel Park Road, Wood Green, to assist the social worker who had been refused entry by the residents.
After forcing the door and entering a communal area of the building, the social worker – who is employed by Haringey Council – was approached by an attacker who stabbed him several times.
The Met said on Saturday that a 33-year-old man arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm remains in custody.
Two other men arrested in a nearby property in connection with the incident are also still being held.
“The nature of their involvement is still being established,” the Met said.
The social worker remains in hospital but his injuries are non life-threatening, while the two police officers were discharged in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Chief Superintendent Treena Fleming, policing commander for Haringey and Enfield, said: “Social workers play a vital role in ensuring that vulnerable people in our community, including children, are safe and protected.
“We have a very close working relationship with our local authority partners and their social services teams and I am appalled at this shocking attack.
“We will do all we can to ensure the person responsible is brought to justice. Our thoughts here at North Area are with the injured social worker and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery.”
She added: “I would also like to pay tribute to the two officers who came to the aid of the victim in this incident, sustaining knife wounds themselves as they did so.”
Ms Fleming added: “This incident shows just how much of a threat knives pose to everyone in Haringey and across London.
“Tackling violent crime is the Met’s number one priority and the events of Friday evening only serve to strengthen our determination as we continue to take weapons off the streets and bring offenders to justice.”
The Met said that steps have been taken to protect the children who were the subject of the initial welfare visit.
The leader of Haringey Council, councillor Peray Ahmet, and the local authority’s chief executive, Zina Etheridge, described the attack as “a shocking incident”.
In a joint statement, they said: “Social workers do an incredibly important job. Their safety is of uppermost importance to us.
“This type of incident, while rare, is an important reminder that frontline staff across the public sector put themselves in harm’s way to do their jobs and we should all express our thanks and support for them as they do so.
“We also want to express our admiration and respect for the two police officers, who we understand sustained their injuries while protecting the social worker.”
They said Haringey Council would “provide all the necessary support” to help the social worker as he makes his recovery.