22 police officers have been injured, and police cars have been vandalised during “significant disorder” following a street party that took place overnight in Brixton
Video footage that has been shared on social media, showed a line of police officers retreating from violent crowds of people charging at them, holding makeshift weapons; the incident took place on Wednesday night on Cecilia Road near the Angell Town estate in Brixton.
Glass bottles were also launched at the officers and in one video a man is seen appearing to be armed with a long pole that he was brandishing at the police force.
Another two men were seen bringing a large wooden table to the incident before then placing it on the floor and ripping off its legs and then running at the police with them, who then started to flee as the crowd began to move towards them.
Two men were seen to be jumping on top of a police vehicle and smashing in the windscreen with their feet and a table leg.
Another member of the public had in his hands what appeared to be a plank of wood and was hitting a police van from behind with it before it eventually drove away.
After the police had gone, video footage shared online showed some of the Brixton street-party goers fighting amongst each other.
Home secretary Priti Patel called the incident “vile”.
She tweeted: “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.”
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.”
Health leaders in the UK have called for a “rapid and forward-looking assessment” of the state of national preparedness for a second wave.
A statement released by the Met Police has said that the police officers were called to the scene in the evening on Wednesday, following numerous calls and complaints from residents about a large unlicensed street party in the area.
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.
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.”