Clashes erupted between revellers and police during a third consecutive night of unlicensed street parties in London.
Footage on social media shows officers with shields and helmets in a standoff with young people yesterday evening outside a block of flats in Harrow Road, Kensal Town. Bottles and other objects were thrown at riot police as one officer swung their club at a group standing under a gazebo.
Attendees were also filmed jumping on top of vans and were flouting coronavirus social distancing rules. Police were called at around 3pm and were met with hostility as people refused to leave when asked.
When the crowd eventually dispersed the Metropolitan Police imposed Section 60 stop and search powers in the area until 6am this morning. No arrests were made. Partygoers then made their way to another illegal party in Maida Vale, which around 100 officers were sent to try and break up.
It comes after a huge street party on Wednesday night in Brixton, south London, in which vehicles were smashed up and 22 officers were injured. Officers were also attacked on Thursday night as they tried to break up an unlicensed music event in Notting Hill, west London.
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Last night’s parties came hours after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said around 140 of the force’s officers had been injured in London over the past three weeks. In addition to recent street parties, pockets of violence have broken out in recent weeks at both at anti-racism protests and far-right counter demonstrations.
Dame Cressida said other illegal parties have been held in Streatham and Tottenham. She warned that ‘consequences will follow’ for those who attack officers and damage property as she promised to shut down unlicensed events over the weekend.
Writing in The Sun she said it had been a ‘very difficult week’ in the capital. She added: ‘The officers I met this week were poised to deal with whatever they faced. Hundreds ready in full kit, should there be a violent or aggresive crowd to deal with.
‘My message to those involved in thuggery and criminal damage is consequences will follow.’
Dame Cressida earlier said the force had a ‘duty’ to stop unlawful music events during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The commissioner added: ‘We have seen some large numbers of people completely flouting the health regulations, seeming not to care at all about their own or their families’ health and wanting to have large parties.
‘It is hot. Some people have drunk far too much. Some people are just angry and aggressive and some people are plain violent.
‘We will be prepared this weekend. We have officers all over London working hard again to try to keep the peace and to protect our public from violence and disorder.’
The comments came after Home Secretary Priti Patel told the Daily Express those who attack police ‘will be taken off our streets’.
Police Federation national chair John apter hardned the Government’s announcement on significantly loosening the lockdown in England on July 4 could be a ‘countdown to party time’.
He added: ‘This will, without doubt, add more pressure on policing, paramedics and the wider NHS.’
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