London raids after suspected gangs 'taunt' on

Dawn raid in Newham More than 110 people were arrested during the dawn raids

Related Stories

Raids have been carried out across London on suspected gang members following alleged taunts online.

The Metropolitan Police carried out raids at 114 addresses from about 05:30 BST and made 112 arrests.

A police spokesman said some gang members had taken advantage of which lets users write anonymously allowing them to taunt other users and raise their own profile.

A handgun, two imitation firearms and a Porsche were seized.

'Super recognisers'

About £4,000 was also recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The force said the raids were a result of increased gang tensions in the run-up to Notting Hill Carnival this weekend.

Ch Supt Mick Johnson said the force would also be using 17 "super recognisers", for the first time at the carnival.

The officers specialise in recalling hundreds of offenders' faces, names and birthdays, and will watch the carnival's CCTV to identify those breaking bail conditions or committing crime.

'Bullying posts'

Ch Supt Johnson said: "We are intent on ensuring that those who plan on coming to the carnival to commit crime of any kind are prevented from doing so, which is why we will be using a team of super recognisers.

"This will enable us to quickly identify offenders on the day and ensure that if they are not caught at the event, we will be able to track them down and arrest them afterwards."

The social media site, which Scotland Yard used to track potential tensions between gangs, has come under criticism recently following the death of a teenager who used the site after her father said she had received bullying posts on her page telling her to die.

The site's owners said it was making improvements to prevent further bullying and harassment taking place.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London



Min. Night 7 °C

BBC Local Live


    That's all for the BBC London Live page today covering the death of two men in Cadogan Square, Knightsbridge. We'll be back at 08:00 on Monday.

    Police at the scene

    A recap:

    17:55: Appeal for witnesses

    Police say next of kin are in the process of being informed and post-mortem examinations will be held in due course.

    They have asked that anyone who witnessed the incident contact the incident room on 020 8785 8244 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

    17:53: Police update

    Police have said the two men who died are believed to be of Polish origin and were delivering a number of sofas prior to the railings on the balcony giving way.

    They said the property was under renovation.

    17:45: Neighbour's account Duncan Smith BBC News Online

    Sandra Panagopoulos, a neighbour, said: "I saw somebody lying on the street. I just saw someone lying there and a woman that was desperately trying to help, running into the building and out… and all the builders being very distressed walking around here and sitting down.

    "And then somebody came and told me that two removal boys fell from the first floor balcony because the railing apparently fell down, they fell down trying to get a sofa up there."

    17:40: London Evening Standard Newspaper

    reports Chelsea footballer Cesc Fabregas is among the residents of Cadogan Square, where two men are thought to have fallen about 20ft.

    It was formerly home to England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

    17:30: Video from the scene Channel 4

    posts a video showing the scene earlier in Cadogan Square (with no commentary).

    17:18: Lease requirements

    Clem Byron Evans from Maskells estate agents explained leases tend to state that you are not allowed to move furniture through the ground floor so as to avoid damage to communal areas.

    He added: "People tend to use hoisting devices but in this case they were using ropes."

    First floor properties in Cadogan Square are the most desirable because they have high ceilings. Such a property can sell for up to £10m.

    17:07: Media interest

    @cameramanjimITV tweets the scene earlier with media in Cadogan Square including a Swedish reporter:

    Media in Cadogan Square
    17:00: News on the hour BBC London 94.9

    Two men have died after falling from a balcony in Knightsbridge. It happened as a team of removers tried to get a sofa out of a first floor property on Cadogan Square.

    Six other people were injured. BBC London 94.9's Valley Fontaine reports from the scene.


    Here's how some of the national newspapers are covering the balcony collapse in Knightsbridge: The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and The Mirror.

    16:40: 'Terrible tragedy'

    Chelsea and Fulham MP Greg Hands said: "It was a removal accident which was obviously a terrible tragedy for the men (who died) and my sympathy goes out to their families.

    Cadogan Square

    "It is a tragedy but the emergency services reacted quickly. It is being investigated by police and health and safety."

    He said the men were removing a sofa but he was not sure if they were on the ground or on the balcony.

    "People should know - they often underestimate removals (dangers) they can be tricky things to carry out in confined spaces in central London. Flats weren't designed for these kinds of operations."

    On the investigation: "We need to know if proper procedures were followed and if they were, do we need to have a look at the procedures?

    "I have never heard of a balcony collapsing in Cadogan Square but that's not to say they haven't."

    16:36: Tower Hamlets inspections BBC Radio 4 Today

    After a school in Stepney failed an Ofsted inspection over its Islamic society, Listen to what some of its pupils think. Report by Sima Kotecha.


    reports estate agent Clem Byron Evans was nearby at the time of the incident. He told the Uxbridge Gazette: "They were hoisting a sofa up through the window when the railing gave way and they fell.

    "You're not allowed to move furniture through the ground floor so people normally use a lifting truck to lift furniture up through the window of the first floor but it looks like these guys were doing it with ropes."


    A workman's step ladders were seen in the window of the flat earlier.

    Stepladders in the window

    A spokesman said Kensington and Chelsea Council is aware of the fatal accident in Cadogan Square and council officers will be on hand to assist if required in any investigation.

    15:57: News on the hour

    Two men have died after a balcony collapsed in Cadogan Square in Knightsbridge.

    BBC London 94.9's Valley Fontaine is at the scene.

    15:51: 'Iron railings can rust'

    Sinclair Johnston, an engineer who has worked on another property in Cadogan Square, said the decorative railings such as the one which collapsed cannot be depended upon to support weight.

    "The iron railings can rust and the stone can become fragile and break up so you never really know how strong they are.

    Forensice examination

    "It's OK in an ordinary way but if you put any pressure on them, if you lean on them, there's no way of knowing - you can't depend on them.

    "The ironwork is incredibly heavy so if it falls off it can be a disaster."

    15:40: Forensic investigation Duncan Smith BBC News Online

    The forensic officer at the scene has been gathering evidence inside the apartment as well as taking photographs inside the police tent which was erected where the balcony fell.

    15:29: HSE investigation

    A press officer at the Cabinet Office has clarified the Health and Safety Executive is in fact investigating the incident alongside the police. He said: "Enquiries are underway and we have inspectors at the scene."

    15:19: 'Unusual commotion'
    Forensic officers examine the scene of the accident

    Neighbour Abel Damoussi said there was lots of building work in the square, usually by well-known professional companies.

    He said he heard an "unusual commotion" in the usually peaceful square: "It was only when I came out the building and found Cadogan Square cordoned off that I realised something had happened.

    "You don't attach ropes to a railing when you are going to remove a piece of furniture. Usually an engineer can calculate the load bearing you can exert on such a rail, especially when you can see the balcony is suspended.

    "I'm not an engineer but it doesn't take rocket science to know you have to count the weight of what you are taking down from a balcony before tying it to the railing."

    15:09: Witness 'treated for shock'

    Surveying company Select Surveys was not involved in the incident but a spokesman said one of its employees was working nearby and had witnessed it.

    He was subsequently treated for shock and sent home by the firm to recover.

    14:58: News on the hour

    Two men have died after a balcony collapsed in Cadogan Square in Knightsbridge.

    BBC London 94.9's Valley Fontaine is at the scene.

    14:47: Onlookers 'suffered from shock'

    London Fire Brigade's Richard Scrivener, who was at the scene, said: "When we arrived we made the scene safe, securing parts of the iron balcony that had broken away in the fall.

    "Crews assisted London Ambulance Service to provide first aid to those injured in the fall as well as to a number of onlookers who were suffering from shock."

    @LondonFire 14:36: Official findings

    The brigade has tweeted its initial report on the fatal balcony collapse: Our lines on the structural collapse in #Chelsea are here

    Forensic officers arrive 14:32: Duncan Smith BBC News Online

    Forensic scientists have arrived at the scene to investigate the incident.

    A police photographer
    14:23: London Evening Standard Newspaper

    According to the newspaper, Cadogan Square was formerly home to England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

    It added the first-floor balcony, where the incident happened, is believed to have been connected to a five-storey terraced building.

    14:13: 'Left in shock'
    Police at scene

    A local woman saw two men lying dead or injured in the road on her way back from the hairdresser, her son said.

    Vera Skeete said his mother Theresa Roberts was left in shock by what she saw at around 10.30. Mr Skeete said: "Mum was walking past and she saw them laying on the floor. They were not even covered up. It gave her a heart attack."

    14:06: Josephine McDermott BBC News Online

    Ropes at the scene appear to be evidence of the sofa removal which eyewitnesses say was happening when the accident happened.

    Ropes at the scene
    14:01: 'The sofa had fallen down' Duncan Smith BBC News Online

    Sudarma Rajapaksha, who works in a neighbouring building, said: "I have been here since nine o'clock. My colleague said something is wrong, that someone had fallen from the scaffolding but it turns out it's not.

    "My other colleague heard the noise, the sofa had fallen down. When I came out I saw the road was closed - the police, fire brigade, ambulance all here in that time."

    13:56: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The headlines this hour:

    • Two men have died after a balcony collapsed in Cadogan Square in Knightsbridge.
    • Ofsted's chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has warned that pupils at six private Muslim schools in Tower Hamlets may be "vulnerable to extremist influences and radicalisation".
    @LondonFire 13:50:

    tweets: We attended a structural collapse in Cadogan Square #Chelsea earlier. Crews made scene safe & assisted LAS in giving first aid to witnesses.


    It appears the railings have sheared away completely.


    Here's another picture from the scene:

    Crime scene
    13:41: Duncan Smith BBC News Online

    Raj Ramanoop told me: "I was down the street there - a friend said there has been an accident and then the air ambulance came down.

    "Then I knew something serious had happened. I heard that it was a sofa that was either going out or going in."


    A Cadogan Square resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told BBC London: "The balcony did not collapse. They were trying to pull a couch up to the first floor apartment with ropes.

    "Was apparently too heavy. The fence broke off and fell on the workmen below."

    13:29: Duncan Smith BBC News Online

    "It has happened in a classic red-brick Regency square in an exclusive part of Knightsbridge.

    "There is police tape in front of several houses with police officers in the centre.

    "The balcony in front of the police tent is missing the decorative, black iron railings that all the others have.

    "There are no emergency sirens here, just an eerie silence."

    13:27: Cadogan Square location
    Cadogan Square locator

    BBC London reporter Duncan Smith has just filed this photo from the scene of the accident in Cadogan Square in Knightsbridge.

    The scene
    13:20: Balcony collapse in Knightsbridge

    A recap:


    Cadogan Estates, the main landlord in Chelsea and Knightsbridge, says it does not own the building where the balcony collapsed this morning.

    @GregHands 13:13:

    tweets: Worth remembering the hazards faced by removal workers, particular in tight environments in central London like Cadogan Square.

    13:11: Josephine McDermott BBC News Online

    A Health & Safety Executive spokesman has just said the incident will be something they investigate only if construction work was taking place at the time.

    @GregHands 13:09:

    tweets: 2/2 were moving a sofa out and the combined weight might have broken it. Casualties were removal staff. My thoughts are with their families.

    @GregHands 13:07:

    Chelsea & Fulham MP Greg Hands tweets: Balcony collapse in Cadogan Sq. Just spoke with Cadogan Ests, not their property, but believe balcony broke when the removal men 1/2

    13:00: News on the hour

    BBC London 94.9's David Friend has the latest from Knightsbridge following the death of two workmen in a balcony collapse in Cadogan Square.

    12:52: 'Believed to be workmen'

    Police say the two men who have died after a balcony collapse in Knightsbridge are believed to be workmen.

    12:50: Cadogan Square

    Police say they were called just after 10:00 to reports of two people injured in Kensington.

    Officers, paramedic and air ambulance attended and the Health and Safety Executive and local council have been informed.

    12:48: Two men killed in balcony collapse

    A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "Every effort was made to resuscitate a patient but sadly a man died at the scene.

    The Met added: "A second man was taken to a central London hospital in a critical condition where he later died."

    12:32: Person killed

    London Ambulance Service says one person is dead and eight were treated at the scene after the balcony collapsed in Cadogan Square.

    12:29: Balcony collapse

    In Knightsbridge, Cadogan Square is closed after a balcony on one of the buildings collapsed.

    12:13: Mouse tweets

    After making several appearances around the office - some mid-broadcast - it appears the BBC London mouse has a Twitter account:

    BBC London mouse
    11:59: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The headlines this hour include:

    • The Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is demanding urgent action after six private Muslim schools in Tower Hamlets were criticised for placing pupils' welfare at risk and leaving them vulnerable to radicalisation
    • A man's been arrested on suspicion of murder after a body was found in the car he was driving in south-east London this morning
    11:44: 'Curriculum too narrow'

    The unannounced Ofsted inspection into Ebrahim Academy in Greenfield Road found:

    • Quality of teaching inadequate
    • Curriculum too narrow
    • Senior leaders and governors do not make sure students are kept safe or achieve well
    • School building not adequately maintained.

    It found the students make good progress in reciting and memorising the Qur'an and are polite and respectful of people of other faiths and cultures.

    Ebrahim Academy
    11:36: England women forging market

    England women's midfielder Karen Carney believes their game at Wembley on Sunday proves there is an appetite for the women's game.

    Karen Carney

    "TV are behind us and we've just got to do the business now. I think the rest will take care of itself," Carney said.

    11:26: 'Not promoting British law'

    Ofsted findings for Mazahuril Uloom School in Mile End Road:

    • Several students told an inspector it would be wrong to learn about other religions
    • They have no lessons in drama, music, or art,
    • When discussing Sharia law and English law, students were unable to tell inspectors which laws they should follow, and which were more important
    • Some students told inspectors 'women stay at home and clean and look after the children'
    11:19: 'Fire exits chained shut'

    Al-Mizan is one of the seven Tower Hamlets schools Ofsted inspected at the request of the government. The report includes:

    • Systems for keeping children safe are weak - public have open access to school, fire exits chained shut during the day
    • Teaching inadequate and classrooms poor
    • Pupils are not taught the national curriculum. The range of subjects is too narrow and restricted. Inspectors were told music was not taught
    • Some children's books had not been marked since September.
    11:12: Emily Thornberry profile

    Emily Thornberry, 54, entered Parliament as MP for Islington South and Finsbury in 2005 and served as shadow energy and health spokeswoman before taking the role of shadow attorney general in 2011.

    The daughter of a former assistant secretary general of the United Nations, she was born in Surrey and was called to the bar in 1983, specialising in criminal law.

    Former shadow minister Emily Thornberry leaving her London home

    She had a majority of 3,569 over the Liberal Democrat candidate at the 2010 general election.

    10:59: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The headlines this hour include:

    • The Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is demanding urgent action after six private Muslim schools in Tower Hamlets were criticised for placing pupils' welfare at risk and leaving them vulnerable to radicalisation.
    • Labour MP for Vauxhall Kate Hoey says her party needs to commit to a referendum on Europe to try to fight off the threat of UKIP.
    • A man's been arrested on suspicion of murder after a body was found in the car he was driving in south-east London this morning.
    10:49: 'I got it wrong'

    LBC modified Emily Thornberry's north London home this morning:

    Home of Emily Thornberry with England flag

    When the South Islington MP left her home she told the waiting press: "I got it wrong. I made a mistake. I've resigned and if I've upset anyone or insulted anybody I apologise."

    10:41: Speeding Vine

    After journalist Jeremy Vine was stopped for speeding on his bicycle yesterday in Hyde Park, the police have said hundreds of cyclists were stopped for going over 5mph.

    It follows a number of incidents over the summer where young children were injured by cyclists on Rotten Row, police said.

    10:26: Battersea affordable homes 'derisory' Tim Donovan Political Editor, BBC London

    Just three of the first 2,400 flats to be built on the Battersea Power Station site are affordable, family-sized homes.

    Battersea Power Station development plans

    Local campaigners said the number of three-bedroom flats approved so far to be built by 2020 was "derisory". But the company said it had plans to bring forward 300 affordable homes, many of which will be family-sized.

    10:17: 'Urgent action' over schools

    Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is demanding urgent action from six private London Muslim schools, after Ofsted raised serious concerns that pupils might have been left vulnerable to radicalisation and their welfare put "at serious risk".

    Croydon Advertiser 10:11: Thornton Heath body

    Police are investigating a murder in south-east London, after a man's body was found in a car stopped by detectives.

    Earlier, officers had received reports of someone trying to put a body into the Thames at Deptford Wharf, writes the Croydon Advertiser.

    10:07: Journalists demand police destroy 'surveillance' files

    Comedian and activist Mark Thomas and five other people are launching legal action against the Met Police for monitoring their journalistic activity.

    The group wants police to destroy files in a secret Scotland Yard database. The Met said it would respond to the notice it had received of the action in due course.

    10:00: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The headlines this hour include:

    • The Chief Inspector of Ofsted says he's concerned that pupils at six east London schools are vulnerable to extremist influences and radicalisation.
    • The Shadow Attorney General and Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury, Emily Thornberry, has stepped down from the Shadow Cabinet because of a picture she tweeted from Rochester during the by-election campaign.
    09:49: Weather forecast via Facebook

    Watch Sara Thornton's forecast including the outlook for the weekend.

    Sara Thornton
    09:41: Knightsbridge collision BBC London Travel

    In Knightsbridge, the A4, Brompton Road, is part blocked outside Harrods following a collision. Inbound queues are from the V&A. Outbound queues are from Hyde Park Corner.

    09:38: Drama at World Scrabble Championship

    Is varvel a word? Find out as BBC London's Chris Slegg talks to competitors at the 2014 World Scrabble Championship in London.

    09:29: 'Must have eyes closed' BBC London 94.9 Radio

    On Emily Thornberry's tweet showing a terraced house draped in flags, John Rentoul, political reporter for The Independent, tells Vanessa:

    "When she was phoned up and asked about it, she said it was extraordinary, she'd never seen a house like it - in which case she must go around Islington with her eyes closed."

    09:26: Disabled pensioner mugged London Evening Standard Newspaper

    reports a disabled pensioner was left lying in the street for an hour after a violent mugging in north London.

    09:19: Muslim schools rapped

    The first of six damning Ofsted reports on private Muslim schools in east London reveals pupils did not know the difference between Sharia and British law.

    Mazahirul Uloom School

    Pupils at Mazahirul Uloom School in Tower Hamlets believed it was wrong to learn about other religions and were not taught art, music or drama.

    09:13: Parliament repair bill 'could top £3bn' Laura Kuenssberg Chief Correspondent

    Taxpayers may have to spend more than £3bn to stop Parliament turning into an unusable "ruin", Newsnight understands.

    The Palace of Westminster has seen fire and floods, some stonework is badly damaged and much of the infrastructure has not been updated since the 1950s.

    09:04: Watch: Thornberry 'right to quit'

    Labour MP Chris Bryant has said Islington South MP Emily Thornberry was right to resign over a tweet she sent during the Rochester and Strood by-election campaign.

    Twitter The tweet was posted on polling day in Rochester
    08:56: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The headlines this hour include:

    • Two schools in Tower Hamlets are failing to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain, according to reports from the education watchdog Ofsted.
    • The Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury, Emily Thornberry, has resigned from the Shadow Cabinet over a picture she tweeted during a by-election campaign.
    08:43: Coming up Vanessa Feltz Presenter, BBC London 94.9

    From 09:00, 'UKIP's Reckless win'. We're going to be talking about that and Emily Thornberry and the picture of the house she tweeted. Plus, would you pay women to breast feed? There's a plot afoot. Call 020 7224 2000.

    08:31: Shoreditch assault shuts road Paul Murphy-Kasp Journalist, BBC London

    In Shoreditch, New North Road is closed between Mintern Street and Murray Grove after a police incident.

    For more travel updates visit BBC London's travel pages. or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel

    08:25: Muslim faith schools 'to be criticised'

    Highly critical reports on seven east London schools, including six Muslim independent faith schools, are set to be published by Ofsted.


    The reports are expected to criticise "safeguarding" in the schools, with each set to be given an action plan to be implemented within weeks.

    08:19: Smash and grab closes road BBC London Travel

    In Highgate the A1 Archway Road is closed both ways from North Hill to Shepherds Hill after a smash-and-grab at the post office.

    For more travel updates visit BBC London's travel pages. or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel.

    08:12: South West Trains cancellations Paul Murphy-Kasp Journalist, BBC London

    There are cancellations and delays on South West Trains due to power problems between Epsom and Raynes Park.

    For more travel updates visit BBC London's travel pages or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel

    Dull and cloudy 08:05:

    It will be a rather cloudy and misty start with the mist being stubborn to clear this morning. This afternoon will be rather dull and cloudy with patchy rain spreading east with temperatures reaching 10C (50F).

    08:00: Josephine McDermott BBC News Online

    Good morning. Dayne Martin and I will be bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather from across the capital today for BBC Local Live. Email us at or Tweet us @BBCLondonNews



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.