Extra police in London to target illegal raves after Brixton violence

Extra police officers in protective gear have been dispatched to tackle illegal raves planned around London following “appalling scenes” of violence at a street party in south London.

Scotland Yard said it was targeting further unlicensed music events and block parties around the city after 22 officers were injured on the Angell Town estate in Brixton on Wednesday.

The force said officers with specialist public order training had been dispatched on Thursday night to help local police in various boroughs within the capital.

It comes after 22 officers were injured and two were hospitalised as they sought to tackle the violent scenes unfolding in Brixton a night earlier.

Commander Bas Javid, spokesperson said : “We remain in a public health crisis and these unlicensed events are illegal. Our role is to keep our communities safe and this evening people can expect to see a heightened police presence out in areas where we know these events are taking place.

The violent confrontations in Brixton (Twitter)

“This is in direct response to concerns expressed by our communities, many of whom were scared and shocked by the events taking place outside their homes.

“We have taken the decision to deploy these additional officers in enhanced personal protective equipment. We want to reassure communities that this is as a precautionary measure for the safety of our officers, and they will continue to engage with the communities they police.

“These officers are specially trained in public order, and may have teams from the Dog Support Unit with them.

“We cannot accept the levels of violence that were directed towards our officers last night, and the damage caused to public and private property. Our policing response remains under constant review, and our priority is to keep everyone – including our officers – safe.”

Police in Brixton on Thursday Nigel Howard)

The new measures follow a night in Brixton when officers were confronted by a “hostile” crowd as they tried to break up a “block party”.

Footage of the chaotic scene shows men jumping on a police car and smashing in the windows as officers flee.

The trouble flared at what police are describing as an “unlicensed” music event which started in the afternoon and ran into the early hours of the morning.

Four people have been arrested for assault and public order offences. They remain in police custody.

Shocking images circulating on social media show officers being chased by men brandishing improvised weapons.

In one video, a man can be heard telling a group of officers to “back up” as he confronts them with what appears to be a sword.

Another clip shows a man chasing away police shouting “don’t come round here bro … this is what we do” and verbally abusing them.

In another, a woman can be heard saying “yeah” and “nice” as a topless man and angry mob stomp over the police car.

Rubbish was strewn across the street during the clashes (NIGEL HOWARD ©)

One witness to the violence in Brixton, who did not want to be named, said: “After the police backed up, the group of people then forced the police out of the estate, throwing things at the police, smashed up a police car that they abandoned and then it moved more towards the main road.”

In footage posted to social media one person can be seen bleeding from the face following clashes with others present.

London Ambulance Service said one person was rushed to a major trauma centre, while another was taken to hospital.

The violence been condemned by Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Priti Patel and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, as well as Met police bosses.

Rubbish left after the party (Nigel Howard)

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “These were appalling scenes. Violence against the police will not be tolerated.”

Mr Khan said that large gatherings during the Covid-19 pandemic are “deeply irresponsible and risk others’ lives”.

Rubbish left after the party (Nigel Howard)

He added: “I’m in touch with the Met Police about the completely unacceptable events in Brixton overnight. Violence against the police will not be tolerated.”

Ms Patel condemned the violence, which came days after a suspected terrorist was tackled to the ground by a police officer in Reading.

She said: “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.”