FIVE people have been arrested after police officers were assaulted while responding to a shoplifting incident in Potterne.

Police were called at around 2pm yesterday (December 4) after three men and two women had walked into a shop in Silver Street and stole two bottles of alcohol and a bucket of flowers.

The group then got into a red Fiat Punto and, when confronted by a member of staff, had thrown the bucket of flowers at them.

Officers located the vehicle in nearby Church Lane and arrested five people.

During the arrests, five police officers were assaulted, including being punched and spat at.

The group also made various threats to the officers, including threatening to burn down their houses.

Three men - a 31-year-old from Bristol, a 24-year-old from Chippenham and a 37-year-old from Calne - and two women - a 28-year-old from Devizes and a 19-year-old from Chippenham - have all been arrested and are currently in custody at Melksham Police Station.

Acting Inspector Pete Foster, from Devizes Community Policing Team, said: "This was a sustained and violent assault on a group of police officers who were responding to a report of shoplifting.

"This highlights the potential dangers, as well as the abuse, that our police officers and staff face day-in, day-out and we will not tolerate it.

"I know the vast majority of the local community will join me in condemning this incident and supporting the officers involved."