22 police officers injured as illegal Brixton street party turns nasty

Two police officers were taken to hospital and a further 20 were injured after an illegal street party last night.

Revellers attacked a police van with wooden table legs after the Met attempted to break up the gathering in Brixton, which they said was flouting coronavirus restrictions.

Another police car could be seen with both its windscreen and rear window smashed in, as police appeared to be chased out of the Angell Town area by a large number of people.

Residents had called police to report the unlicensed music event in Overton Road.

When cops arrived they attempted to disperse the crowds, but scenes soon turned ugly as people refused to move.

A video on Twitter shows men breaking wooden legs off a table, while another showed a pair on top of a police car smashing in the windscreen with their feet.

A voice on the Twitter video can be heard saying “they are driving the police out of Angell Town,” as officers appear to retreat from the huge crowd.

Home Secretary Priti Patel described the violence as “utterly vile”.

She said: “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.”

A Dispersal Zone was authorised under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 to encourage crowds to leave.

In total, 22 officers were injured, none seriously although two did require hospital treatment.

Four arrests were made for assault and public order offences. They remain in police custody.

The event was cleared in the early hours of this morning.

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 saving lives

“Our officers work incredibly hard to engage and explain the public health message and regulations to prevent such gatherings occurring.

“Last night we received numerous concerns from residents complaining about a large gathering, noise, anti-social behaviour and violence and officers responded to those concerns.

“These gatherings are unlawful, as well as posing a risk to public health and against coronavirus restrictions.

“We are engaged with the local community and our partners. Officers are out today conducting reassurance patrols.

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

“An investigation into the incident is now taking place and those involved will be brought to justice.”

Cllr Jacqui Dyer, Lambeth’s cabinet member for jobs, skills and community, said: “We condemn the events witnessed last night on the streets of Brixton and the totally unacceptable attacks on police officers. There’s no place for behaviour of that nature in our community and we will support the police in efforts to bring those responsible for justice.

“Residents on our estates deserve to be able to live safely and peacefully, without illegal and unlicensed events taking place on their doorstep.

“We are in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis which has had a severe impact on all our communities. Public services are particularly stretched at this time, and the events of last night put further strain on those already exhausted public resources.

“We are asking our residents to continue the huge efforts they have put in through this crisis to protect the most vulnerable in our community and continue to maintain social distancing.

“Please spread the message to friends and family that they should not attended events such as those seen last night. They may seem a welcome distraction at this difficult time, especially for our young people, but as we have seen the end results are totally unacceptable.”

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