Police say the attack happened in Goodwood Road, New Cross Google Streetview

A female police officer was punched in the face and her colleague repeatedly kicked in the head during a shocking attack by a mob of up to 30 schoolchildren in south London, Scotland Yard has said.

The two uniformed officers were on patrol in Lewisham when they were violently set upon after spotting one of the group hiding a large knife.

When they tried to search the young male, one of the officers was punched in the face several times by other youths and beaten to the ground.

The second officer was punched in the jaw as she stepped in to try and save her colleague from the mob.

The attacking schoolchildren continued to assault the officer on the floor by repeatedly kicking him in the head, detectives said. The pair only escaped after calling for urgent assistance from colleagues.

The male officer was left with serious bruising and was taken to a south London hospital as a precaution.

The attack took place at around 4pm on Wednesday 9 November in Goodwood Road near the junction with New Cross Road, but the Met Police only released details of the incident on Tuesday (22 November).

Detectives are now appealing for information or any witnesses to come forward, and have made a specific plea for members of the public seen filming the incident on their mobile phones to hand over the footage.

Detective Sergeant Jenny White, of Lewisham Police, described the attack as "shocking". She said: "It happened at a very busy time of the day and there would've been a large number of people in the area. These officers go to work every day to keep the public safe and this demonstrates the dangers the police can face while carrying out these duties."

A 15-year-old male was arrested at the scene on suspicion of actual bodily harm and was taken to a south London police station. He has been bailed to a date in mid-December.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact Lewisham CID on 020 8284 8365 or 101. Alternatively, you can get in touch with Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.