A police officer has been hit with a hammer during a large protest in Kilmarnock.
He was injured when the weapon was thrown from a crowd of around 250 people in Hareshaw Gardens at 7pm on Monday.
He was taken to Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock for treatment and was later released.
Inquiries into the incident are ongoing, and officers are appealing for witnesses to come forward.
Chief inspector Steven Meikle, area commander for East Ayrshire, said: “No-one should expect to be subjected to violence while doing their job – and that includes police officers.
“We respect people’s right to peacefully protest but someone brought a hammer to this protest and one of our officers was struck on the head with it. This changes the landscape entirely.
“The consequences could have been more harrowing, the hammer could have landed on a child’s head, and our officers would have been expected to respond accordingly.
“The safety of our officers is absolutely paramount. They are relied upon to keep people safe but they are people too – being assaulted is simply not part of the job.
“The impact these groups are having on communities and policing is detrimental to our efforts to keep everyone safe. We can’t condone nor do we encourage any group or individual to take the law into their own hands.
“If anyone has concerns or information they think we should know then please come to us and let us manage those concerns in a professional manner.
“Do not take the law into your own hands. Do not put the safety of other people at risk.”
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