THE alleged stabbing of a Cairns police officer in the city's biggest shopping centre has sparked an outpouring of sympathy and a call for the "full weight of the law" to be brought down.

Shoppers and store workers at Cairns Central Shopping Centre were astounded to hear of the incident that unfolded within their walls about 2pm on Tuesday.

Bentley Park resident Mitchell Holmes said he was shocked to learn something like this could happen in such a public shopping centre.

"Anytime a police officer or an emergency worker just doing their job gets hurt it's bad, but this is not something you expect to see," he said.

Police attend the scene of the alleged stabbing at Cairns Central shopping centre. Picture: Stewart McLean
Police attend the scene of the alleged stabbing at Cairns Central shopping centre. Picture: Stewart McLean

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A Cairns Central shop owner who wished to remain anonymous said he heard the commotion upstairs.

"I heard something happen, and there were about 30 cops running about," he said. "I hope he's OK … these people are only trying to protect us."

Cairns MP Michael Healy shared the outpouring of support for the wounded officer while calling for the alleged offender to be met with no tolerance from law enforcement.

Member for Cairns Michael Healy. Picture: Stewart McLean
Member for Cairns Michael Healy. Picture: Stewart McLean

"I think there's an expectation that anybody who uses violence against police, particularly (in) such a violent and dangerous way, should the full weight of the law," he said.

"That's an expectation not just for the community but the officer's family and anyone feeling unsafe.

"The police every single day work in a wide range of areas and put themselves in danger for the community."

Mr Healy said Cairns residents shouldn't be concerned about incidents like this happening again.

Police officers arrest a man at the Bungalow Hotel who allegedly stabbed a police officer at Cairns Central. The offender was taken from the scene in an ambulance. Picture: Brendan Radke
Police officers arrest a man at the Bungalow Hotel who allegedly stabbed a police officer at Cairns Central. The offender was taken from the scene in an ambulance. Picture: Brendan Radke

"I understand it was in a confined space, a stairwell and there was no risk to any members of the community," he said.

Police minister Mark Ryan echoed Mr Healy's sentiment, saying his thoughts were with the injured officer and his family, friends and colleagues.

"That individual can expect to feel the full force of the law," he said.

"Attacking and seriously injuring a police officer carries very significant penalties."

Shadow Police Minister Dale Last also offered his condolences to the officer and his family and colleagues.

"This incident is a sad reminder of the dangers that our police officers face on a regular basis," he said.

Originally published as 'Significant penalties': Outrage rises after Cairns police stabbing



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