An off-duty police officer suffered a broken eye socket and another a dislocated shoulder when they tried to break up a fight outside a pub.

Met Police are appealing to the public for help tracing three men they want to speak to after the assault in central London.

Scotland Yard said the two officers had been in the Maple Leaf, a Canadian-themed bar in Covent Garden, just before Christmas when a fight broke out nearby between two groups of men.

The pair tried to intervene and were punched by three men so brutally one officer was left with a broken eye socket and the other suffered a dislocated shoulder.

The three suspects quickly fled the scene following the December 20 incident at around 7.10pm, the force said.

Police would like to speak to this man, pictured outside the Maple Leaf

Both officers were taken to hospital, where they were found to have suffered significant injuries.

Police are urging anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

The Met released CCTV footage and images in a bid to trace the men they wish to speak to about the incident that took place outside the bar on Maiden Lane.

The Met is seeking this man following the incident outside the Maple Leaf
The fight broke out at the Canadian-themed Maple Leaf bar in Covent Garden (file photo)

Detective Constable Karl Lewis, from Central West CID, said: “These officers were enjoying an evening out when they witnessed a fight which they tried to prevent becoming more serious.

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“In doing so, they themselves were set upon and injured, leaving them with significant injuries. 

“We are urging anyone who knows the men in this CCTV footage to come forward and speak to us on 101 with CAD reference 6988/20Dec19 or to stay anonymous by contacting the charity  Crimestoppers  on 0800 555 111.”