In a turned-violent illegal street party held on Overton Road in Brixton on Wednesday, not less than twenty two police officers were injured as police cars were also smashed.
According to the police, they were called by concerned residents on Overton Road near the Angell Town Estate in Brixton where the illegal party was taking place.
The police arrived at the scene on Wednesday evening, but to their surprise they were met with hostile crowd running towards them with various makeshift weapons. The police retreated as the crowd headed in their direction to attack.
Among the weapons the crowd was brandishing are bottles, long poles, table legs, a plank of wood and so on.
In one video of the incident, bottles were thrown at the police. One man was seen brandishing a long pole at them.
Also, legs of a large wooden table were carried by other men who attempted attacking the police with the table legs.
Two other men were seen in the video smashing the windscreen of the police vehicles with a table leg and their feet.
Police retreated from the scene unscathed except for two officials who needed to be treated in the hospital.
Speaking about the incident, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the scene was appalling and an assault on emergency workers.
“These were appalling scenes. Violence against the police will not be tolerated,” Johnson said.
While condemning the act, Sadiq Khan said, Mayor of London called it unacceptable events and said he would be in touch with Met regarding the incident.
“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,” said Khan.
Similarly, Home Secretary Priti Patel in her reaction to the incident said it is “utterly vile scenes” aimed to attack police who risk their lives to keep people safe.
“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,” she said in a tweet.
Michael, a bus driver living in Overton Road while speaking to the Sky News said the violence was upsetting.
“The whole thing should have been shut down earlier,” he said.
“People who live here are not the culprits, it’s those damn fools from different areas that come down to tarnish the works and efforts that have been put into the area by the estate management,” added Michael.
Colin Wingrove, Met Police Commander spoke about the incident saying,
“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 saving lives.
“Our officers work incredibly hard to engage and explain the public health message and regulations to prevent such gatherings occurring.”
According to the police four people were arrested at the scene for assault and public order offences, and they are still being held in police custody.
As things ease, in the early hours of Thursday the crowd eventually left the scene. Stop and search orders are being carried out in the street to avoid further eruption of violence in the area.