Someone will be killed unless communities and the police come together to end the violence, John Apter said today.
The National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales was interviewed by BBC News about disorder in Brixton last night which left 22 officers injured, including two needing to be hospitalised.
Mr Apter said: "We've seen about 250 police officers injured in recent weeks, that's just an unimaginable number. The scale of the disorder in Brixton and the targeting of my colleagues is an absolute disgrace. We're reaching the point where it's only through fortune that my colleagues are not being more seriously injured or in fact killed."
He added that police officers are in an "impossible" position, criticised if they police too soft or go in too hard. And he called for those responsible to face the consequences. "We need to put these people in prison where they belong because this is not acceptable at any level," Mr Apter said.
Ken Marsh, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, described the violence in Brixton as “an absolute volley of anger and hatred towards the police”.
He added: “Yet again our brave colleagues in London have come under attack. My colleagues are human beings as well – and suddenly in scenes like last night they’re confronted by people who ultimately want to cause them grievous damage."