TWO burglars on a moped ambushed a police van, threatening its occupants with a gun in a brazen bid to free an accomplice.

The duo had earlier kicked and pushed two officers while riding in circles around them, enabling their partner in crime to flee from outside a mobile phone shop.

When the accomplice was re-arrested nearby and driven to his home for a search, the pair reappeared outside the property and produced the gun before the van was driven away at speed.

The display of contempt for the law came after the Police Federation warned of a ‘breakdown of society’ fuelling attacks on officers. The Met appealed for help to catch the dangerous duo after the ambush in south London yesterday.

Area commander Simon Messinger said the two officers who were kicked and punched suffered minor injuries.

He added: ‘This once again demonstrates the bravery of officers who put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect the public.

‘Thanks to the rapid support of colleagues, one suspect was detained.

‘However, two remain outstanding, and these are clearly reckless and dangerous individuals. Our priority is to identify and arrest them.’

The two wanted burglars were caught breaking into a mobile phone shop in Peckham at 1.20am with their accomplice, 24.

They eluded capture but stayed on the scene to help the arrested man, who ran off and was stopped nearby by other officers, one of whom fired a Taser.

Police drove the man to his home in Croydon and, after the search, were confronted by the armed duo as they left to take him into custody.

The pair are thought to have tailed the vehicle from Peckham.

Attacks on officers have risen by 34 per cent since 2013.

The Police Federation’s Ken Marsh warned in Metro yesterday a minority of people have come to ‘revile’ the force, adding: ‘It’s like a breakdown of society.’

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