NEARLY 30 police officers were injured when an ‘unlawful’ street party descended into violence.
Footage on social media showed a large crowd smashing up patrol cars and pelting bottles at officers as they were run out of Angell Town estate, in Brixton, south London.
Chaos ensued when officers were called to reports of a ‘large unlicensed music event’ and tried to encourage the crowd to leave, said Scotland Yard.
But the group ‘became hostile’, and 22 officers were hurt in clashes on Wednesday. Two needed hospital treatment, said a Met Police spokesman.
Ken Marsh, chairman of the force’s Police Federation, put the injury toll at nearly 30, including ‘walking wounded’, and described the incident as ‘absolutely shocking’.
Home secretary Priti Patel described the scenes as ‘utterly vile’ and London mayor Sadiq Khan said violence against the police ‘will not be tolerated’.
A Downing Street spokesman said: ‘Anyone who assaults the police should feel the full force of the law.’
One witness, a bus driver named Michael, said the violence was very upsetting, adding: ‘People who live here are not the culprits, it’s those damn fools from different areas that come down to tarnish the works and efforts put into the area’.
Four people were held on suspicion of assault and public order offences and the party was finally cleared early yesterday. An order giving police powers to stop and search without reasonable suspicion is in place in the area.
Met Police Cmdr Colin Wingrove said the event had ‘posed a risk to public health’ amid the pandemic and called the violence shown towards officers ‘totally unacceptable’. ‘Those involved will be brought to justice,’ he added.