Twenty-two police officers have been injured after they tried to encourage people to leave an unlicensed street party in Brixton.
Police were called to Overton Road, Lambeth, yesterday evening (Wednesday 24th June) after multiple reports made to them by members of the public who were concerned about a sizeable unlicensed music event that was being held in the street.
Officers attended the scene and attempted to encourage the crowd to disperse. But the revellers refused to engage with the officers.
The unlicensed street party continued, and more officers were requested by officers who were already on the scene.
The crowd then became hostile towards the police, shouting abuse and hurling missiles towards them.
Various videos have been shared on social media, including one of a male waving what appears to be a sword towards officers.
Other videos uploaded to social media show officers having to make a tactical withdrawal from the area after they were heavily outnumbered by individuals who were throwing rocks and other missiles at police vehicles.
A major incident was declared (internally) by the Met, with officers from surrounding boroughs and the Territorial Support Group being sent to the scene.
A Dispersal Zone was authorised under S35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 to encourage crowds to leave.
In total, 22 police officers were injured with two requiring hospital treatment. Police vehicles were also damaged during violent disorder.
The event was cleared in the early hours of Thursday, 25th June. A section 60 was later implemented in the vicinity of the event to prevent violence.
BCU 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.
“Last night, we received numerous concerns from residents complaining about a large gathering, noise, anti-social behaviour and violence, and officers responded to those concerns.
“These gatherings are unlawful, as well as posing a risk to public health and against coronavirus restrictions.
“We are engaged with the local community and our partners. Officers are out today conducting reassurance patrols.
“The violence shown towards officers is totally unacceptable, and we will not tolerate it in any form.
“An investigation into the incident is now taking place, and those involved will be brought to justice.”
Ken Marsh, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, told BBC 5 Live:
“There was an absolute volley of anger and hatred towards the police.”
John Apter, the Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said:
“The level of anger, hatred and violence being shown against police officers by some is disgraceful.
“Some of the inaccurate and inflammatory reporting by some MSM has made my colleagues fair game for those who don’t need much of an excuse.
“My colleagues don’t deserve this”.
One officer who was at the scene said:
“We came under sustained attack from bottles and missiles, no NATO’s or PSU kit…4 (officers) on my team struck but ok.
“[We had to make a] tactical withdrawal.
“Everyone of us wanted to kit up and go back in, but due to injured officers, we were unable to do so.
“Proud of all officers who were there last night. Very Hostile crowd”.
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