London

Seven arrests over 'mass school brawl' in Erith

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionFootage of the fight shows people being kicked and attacked with sticks

Up to "100 schoolchildren" were involved in a fight on a street when a mass brawl broke out, leaving two teenagers needing hospital treatment.

Police were called to "a large fight" in Northumberland Heath in Erith, south-east London, at about 17:40 BST on Monday.

Witnesses said baseball bats and concrete blocks had been used as weapons during the brawl.

Seven people, aged between 15 and 21, have been arrested, police said.

The injuries suffered by the two people in hospital, aged 15 and 19, are not life threatening, the Met spokesperson added.

'Like a battle zone'

More than 100 youths, some of whom were in school uniform, were involved in the fight which took place near the Duchess of Kent pub.

Witnesses said the numbers of people involved - including children as young as 11 - grew during the afternoon.

Footage posted online showed people being kicked and hit with sticks and poles.

Rachael Brunt described Northumberland Heath as "a battle zone with debris of bats and table legs on the grass".

She said there was a "mixture of boys and girls" involved who "started beating a lad to the ground, bashing him with lumps of wood."

Shane Newman, who works in a local betting shop, said he saw "several black youths" who "looked to be around 13 to 16 years old... running up and down the street".

Once police arrived, they "advised all businesses to close early... I left work as quickly as I could," he said.

Image caption The brawl took place near the Duchess of Kent pub in Erith

A worker at 'Northumberland Heath Private Day Nursery, which is near to where the fight happened, said some staff were kept inside the school for two hours at the end of the day for their safety.

Owen Jeavons, 23, said there had been tension between students at local schools when he was a teenager but called the brawl "something new".

"I have never seen anything like it. It's such a quiet, peaceful place", he said.

Jeanne Asquith wrote on Facebook: "Never seen anything like it and I've lived here eight years... I just just hope the schools deal with those involved. Most were wearing school uniform."


Chief Superintendent Jeff Boothe, the Metropolitan Police's borough commander in Bexley:

"This incident was a large scale fight in a public area and would have been shocking to anyone who witnessed it.

"In total over 40 calls were made to police by members of the public and a number of incidents occurred across at least five different locations.

"Every available officer within Bexley was deployed to assist with the incident and support from the Territorial Support Group was provided."

Related Topics

Related Internet links

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