Brixton street party: Met Police officers injured in violence

media captionFootage on social media appears to show police officers being chased

Twenty-two police officers have been injured during clashes at an illegal street party involving an estimated 400 people in south London.

Two officers and two people at the party were taken to hospital following the "unlicensed music event" in Brixton on Wednesday night.

Four people were arrested and the Met described the attacks on police as "totally unacceptable".

Downing Street said "violence against the police will not be tolerated".

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said the government would shortly be launching a consultation on doubling the maximum sentence for assaulting an emergency worker.

"We have been clear that anyone who assaults the police or any of our emergency service workers who keep us safe should feel the full force of the law," the spokesman said.

image copyrightSnapchat
image captionPolice arrested four people for assault and public order offences

A dispersal order had been put in place earlier in the day and police officers tried to encourage the crowd to leave following complaints from residents.

The event near Angell Town continued so more officers attended and the group became hostile, the Met said.

Footage on social media showed a number of police vehicles being smashed and officers being chased. Another video also appears to show two men being attacked with a knife.

London Ambulance Service said two people were taken to hospital, with one needing treatment at a major trauma unit.

Four people were arrested for assault and public order offences. They remain in custody.

image copyrightReuters
image captionVolunteers have been cleaning up the site of the street party

Police later implemented a Section 60 order, which gives increased stop and search powers.

Local musician Clip C told BBC "the disturbance" broke out after the music was turned off.

"People from this community, a good majority of us went home because we realised the vibes were done," he said.

"Loads more people just started coming from everywhere. All of a sudden things started smashing and people started chasing each other - it started getting crazy."

image captionCommunity activist Michelle Killington said she "didn't support" what happened

Community activist Michelle Killington said she "doesn't agree" with what happened but said the clash shows local children need more support.

She said: "Angell Town is an amazing space, with amazing kids and amazing leaders. But it's not recognised for that.

"We have no space in Angell Town to actually work on young people and help organise events in a safe way."

Michael, a local bus driver who did not want to give a his surname, said it was "very upsetting" the violence had happened in his area.

"The whole thing should have been shut down earlier," he said.

image copyrightSnapchat
image captionAn estimate of 400 people gathered in Brixton for an unlicensed music event, police said

At the scene

Katharine Carpenter, BBC London home affairs correspondent

The day after the night before the only evidence on the Angell Town estate of what happened is some broken glass and plastic bottles.

People who'd been at the event tell me it all started peacefully with a barbeque and music, but it "got out of hand" when people from other areas flooded in.

While condemning the violence, young people told me there is "no relationship" with the police and the community officers they knew don't come around anymore.

I met a mum who said she's been campaigning for a new youth centre. "The kids don't have anywhere to go", she said.

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said nearly 30 of his colleagues were "walking wounded".

"No-one expects this level of violence and hostility to just erupt at the speed it does towards police. It's horrendous," he said.

Mr Marsh also raised concerns about large gatherings when lockdown is eased and pubs reopen on 4 July, saying "ultimately it always seems to fall on the police's shoulders to deal with everything".

"There is no place in society for disorder and wanting to cause violence and pain and grief towards public and police alike," he said.

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: "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."

Cdr Colin Wingrove said: "These gatherings are unlawful, as well as posing a risk to public health and against coronavirus restrictions.

"The violence shown towards officers is totally unacceptable and we will not tolerate it in any form."

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