Police ‘targeted as they try to break up street party’
Two police officers suffered broken bones and nine others were injured after breaking up another illegal lockdown street party last night.
Video footage shows huge crowds in White City, west London, chasing police carrying shields at the unlicensed music event.
The Metropolitan Police force said it was called to White City on Friday evening following reports of a number of people gathered at an estate.
Bricks and other missiles were thrown when they asked the group to leave. London mayor Sadiq Khan has since condemned the attack as ‘disgraceful’.
Officers were forced to retreat, so colleagues clad in protective gear and trained to deal with public disorder were sent to the scene only to be met with further hostility and violence.
A dispersal zone was put in place so police could request people to leave. The area had been cleared by 1.15am this morning.
Scotland Yard said two officers suffered broken bones, while nine others sustained non-serious injuries.
Detective Chief Inspector Luke Wyllie said: ‘We are in the process of identifying those involved in violence and disorder last night.
‘We are yet to make arrests however enquiries are well underway and we will not allow those intent on causing harm get away with this behaviour.
‘There is an increased policing presence this weekend and officers will be out providing reassurance to the local community.’
Deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor said seven officers had received injuries as a result of the clashes.
He said: ‘Officers have responded to residents complaining about a large gathering, noise, anti-social behaviour and violence.
‘These gatherings are illegal and also pose a risk to public health.
‘The violence shown towards officers this evening was totally unacceptable and we will not tolerate it in any form. Officers encountered bricks and other missiles being thrown at them.
‘Our robust police response demonstrated that we will police incidents like these firmly and stop those intent on causing harm or disruption to our communities.’
A section 60 order, which is set for a limited time and allows police officers to stop and search anyone without reasonable grounds, has been put in place around the area to prevent violence.
No arrests have yet been made.
Police were prepared for an incident to take place yesterday evening after receiving information about the plans.
Hammersmith and Fulham Police tweeted earlier yesterday: ‘This is due to information received relating to planned unlicensed music/BBQ events taking place within the locations.
‘Intelligence suggests that these events will be attended by west and south gang members. This has previously led to violence and disorder.’
Police have had to deal with a number of illegal street parties in recent weeks. Despite the easing of lockdown measures today as part of ‘Super Saturday’, large gatherings are still banned under Government coronavirus guidelines.
There were three consecutive nights of unlicensed street parties in London last weekend, with officers with shields and helmets seen in a standoff with young people on June 26 outside a block of flats in Kensal Town, north west London.
A huge street party on June 24 in Brixton, south London, saw vehicles smashed up and 22 officers injured. Officers were also attacked on June 25 as they tried to break up an unlicensed music event in Notting Hill, west London.
There have been street parties elsewhere across the country too, with a huge gathering filmed in Leicester just days before it went back into lockdown.