A police chief has recalled the adrenaline kicking in as he raced to the scene of a severe knife attack which claimed the life of a man.

Wiltshire Police sergeant Tom Ashforth was a police constable in 2012 when a knife attack took place in west Swindon.

Sgt Ashforth has recalled the harrowing scene as he tells the media what life is really like on the frontline dealing with knife crime and how he wants to raise awareness of the dangers that come with carrying weapons.

Sgt Ashforth and his colleague were the first officers on the scene of the attack in 2012.

When they arrived, two men led them to their friend who had been attacked and was lying on the floor with multiple stab wounds.

Sgt Ashforth, who has been an officer for around 15 years, said: “After seeing the victim on the floor, I immediately went into first aid mode to try and preserve life – your brain hasn’t got the time to process what has happened but your adrenaline and training kicks in.

“As police, we’re here to prevent and detect crime, but in situations like that we’re there to preserve life and limb.

“Your mind is going a million miles an hour, knowing you must do everything to try and save that person’s life, but you’re also mindful that there’s someone still out there with a knife and you don’t know where they are.

“It was only in the aftermath that I questioned what had just happened?”

Despite efforts from Sgt Ashforth, his colleague and the ambulance service, the victim was pronounced dead a short while later.

Although Sgt Ashforth had never met the victim, he said he kept thinking about them and their family and friends.

“I know many colleagues tend to talk about incidents with one another, as we don’t really want to take it home to our families”, he explained.

“We are getting much better at dealing with the aftermath of such incidents and we do have great support mechanisms available to us. We are people too, with the same emotions, feelings and coping mechanisms as anyone else.

“I can still visualise this incident to this day. I have processed it, but you don’t ever forget it. A person lost their life at the hands of another, which is always a senseless and needless tragedy for everyone involved.”

Sgt Ashforth is now a neighbourhood sergeant for Stratton, Central Swindon North and West and is speaking about knife crime during Spectre – a national initiative raising awareness and highlighting the ongoing work to tackle the issue.

He cites the importance of first aid training and hopes it will be taught to the wider population, but he also encourages parents to speak to their children about the dangers of carrying weapons.

He added: “My colleagues and I are more than willing to engage with anyone who raises such concerns and provide advice and support.

“We look to engage further through schools and local groups to tackle the issue. We don’t want the carrying of weapons to become a normal activity – it has to stop for everyone’s sake.

“If you carry a knife or associate with those who do, then it goes without saying that you’re more likely to be involved in an incident where serious harm, or worse, occurs.

"If you actively decide to take a knife out with you, there’s always the risk you’ll use it.

“As such, Wiltshire Police will continue with intervention programs and initiatives on the issue, but will also continue take a firm stance against those who habitually carry knives and weapons.”