Seven officers injured as police met with 'hostility and violence' trying to break up illegal London party

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  • July 3, 2020
  • Comments Off on Seven officers injured as police met with 'hostility and violence' trying to break up illegal London party

At least seven police officers have been injured while attempting to break up an illegal party in London‘s White City.

Footage showed Metropolitan Police officers armed with shields running into Havelock Close and shouting “get back” as they attempted to disperse crowds at around 10pm on Friday night.

A separate video posted to Twitter showed officers being chased out of the housing estate and pelted with glass bottles by members of the mostly young-looking crowd, while witnesses said helicopters hovered overhead.

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Scotland Yard said officers attempted to get the crowd to leave the area, but a number of items were thrown at police, who retreated in order to regroup.

Shortly after, police dressed in riot gear entered the estate to disperse the group. The force said they were then met with further hostility and violence.

A dispersal zone and a Section 60 stop and search order were put in place. The crowd was finally broken up at around 1.15am on Saturday.

Seven officers are known to have been injured as a result of the hostility.

Deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor of the Met 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.”

Earlier in the day, the Met Police’s Hammersmith and Fulham borough Twitter account said a Section 60 order had been put in place in the area until 6am on Saturday.

“This is due to information received relating to planned Unlicensed Music / BBQ events taking place within the locations,” the force said.

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“Intelligence suggests that these events will be attended by West and South gang members. This has previously led to violence and disorder.”

At 11:30pm, a Twitter user by the name of Barbara Small, who said they stay in the area, wrote: “Thankfully there are riot police everywhere now and people have moved on. But no doubt they are all moving to another spot. I really don’t envy the riot police it was truly scary.”

Footage posted to social media shortly after 11pm appeared to show dozens of police officers funnelling crowds out of the estate. A thrown glass bottle narrowly misses several officers.

It is the latest in several illegal gatherings across London in recent weeks, in locations such as nearby Notting Hill, Brixton, Clapham, Tooting Bec, Streatham and Newham.

Some 27 officers were injured while attempting to shut down the Brixton party and a police car destroyed in what was the most markedly violent response to police efforts at any lockdown gathering.

Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has condemned aggression towards police at illegal parties as “utterly unacceptable”, saying the force has a “duty” to stop unlawful music events during the coronavirus pandemic.