25 June 2020 10:37
Twenty two officers have been injured and police cars smashed up during "significant disorder" following a street party in Brixton overnight. Footage on social media showed a line of police retreating from crowds of people running at them with makeshift weapons on Cecilia Road near the Angell Town estate in Brixton on Wednesday night. Police said they were called by concerned residents to the illegal street party but were met by a "hostile" crowd. Image: Police officers were injured during the confrontation with those at a street party Bottles were thrown at the officers and in one video a man appeared to be brandishing a long pole at them as he said: "Back up." Another two men were seen carrying a large wooden table before ripping its legs off and running at the police who started to run away as the crowd descended on them. Advertisement Two men could be seen on top of a police vehicle smashing in the windscreen with a table leg and their feet.
Another man had what appeared to be a plank of wood and was hitting the back of a police van with it before it was driven off. After the police had gone, footage showed some of the crowd fighting each other. Home secretary Priti Patel called the incident "vile". She tweeted: "These are utterly vile scenes. Police confront angry crowd in Brixton Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "I'm in touch with the Met about the completely unacceptable events in Brixton overnight.
"Violence against the police will not be tolerated. Large gatherings during COVID-19 are deeply irresponsible and risk others' lives." A Met Police statement said officers were called to the scene on Wednesday evening after numerous calls from residents about a large unlicensed street party. Officers tried to encourage the crowd to leave as large gatherings are not allowed due to the coronavirus lockdown, but "they did not engage with police", the statement said. More officers were called to the scene and the group became hostile towards them and, despite a dispersal zone order being granted, the crowd remained. These are utterly vile scenes. Just last weekend, the whole country came together to praise our heroic police officers for putting their own lives on the line to keep us safe. I'll be picking up with the Met Commissioner immediately. — Priti Patel (@pritipatel) June 25, 2020 None of the officers were seriously injured, but two required hospital treatment. Four people were arrested for assault and public order offences and remain in police custody. The crowd eventually left in the early hours of Thursday and police are now carrying out stop and search orders in the area "to prevent violence", the statement said. Lambeth Borough Commander Colin Wingrove said: "Our role is to protect the public and ensure guidelines are adhered to in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 protecting the NHS and save lives. "Our officers work incredibly hard to engage and explain the public health message and regulations to prevent such gatherings occurring." He called the gatherings "unlawful" and said they pose a risk to public health. "The violence shown towards officers is totally unacceptable and we will not tolerate it in any form," he added. "An investigation into the incident is now taking place and those involved will be brought to justice." Footage on social media showed police vehicles being smashed and officers chased during clashes with a large crowd near the Angell Town estate in Brixton. One clip shows bottles being thrown at officers as they were chased from the area, while in another a partygoer can be seen bleeding from the face. Home Secretary Priti Patel described the images as "utterly vile scenes", and said she would be speaking to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick.