A POLICE officer was taken to hospital after he was punched in the face by a gang.

The incident took place at 1.20am on Saturday as the off-duty officer walked with friends along an alley between Moore Street and Bath Street, near the Esplanade, in Redcar, east Cleveland. They were confronted by a gang, who threatened them and shouted abuse.

When the victim said he was a police officer, he was punched in the face by one of the men.

He was taken to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough. After the attack, the gang made off towards Moore Street.

Anyone with information is asked to call (01642) 302626.