TWO police officers who were stabbed during a ‘challenging incident’ have spoken for the first time about their ordeal as they were hailed for ‘outstanding bravery.’

Constables Laura Sayer and Kenneth MacKenzie were seriously injured after they went to assist colleagues on a call-out to Greenock.

The pair assisted seven fellow officers as the incident unfolded and have received bravery awards from Chief Constable Iain Livingstone at a ceremony at the Scottish Police College.

They thanked the public for the hundreds of messages of support received.

In a joint statement, the injured officers said: “The incident which we and our colleagues faced on June 1 was extremely challenging and not something that we will easily ever forget.

“We did what all police officers are trained to do and can only thank our colleagues who put themselves in harm’s way to help prevent what could have been a far more serious incident.

“Despite the serious injuries we suffered, we both recognise that without the support of fellow officers that day it could have been much worse.

“The past few months have also been extremely challenging and we have a faced a long road to recovery which has, at times, been very difficult.

“We are very proud to be recognised with this bravery award and to share this moment with the colleagues who helped during the incident.

“Our recovery is going well and we hope to return to work in the near future. This would not have been possible without the support of Police Scotland and fellow officers.

“The hundreds of messages of support we received from the public have also been a huge comfort as we recover and we would like to thank everyone for their kind wishes.”

PC Sayer and PC MacKenzie were among 64 police officers, two special constables, one member of police staff and 14 members of the public honoured at the Police Scotland Bravery and Meritorious Conduct Awards today (Thursday 8 November).