Police swoop on Streatham Common to break up 'unlicensed music event'

26 June 2020, 00:39

A large gathering took place on Streatham Common on Thursday evening
A large gathering took place on Streatham Common on Thursday evening. Picture: Phil Brown/Twitter

By Megan White

A heavy police presence including a helicopter has been seen around Streatham Common after reports of a party.

Riot vans lined the streets near the south London park late on Thursday evening, hours after videos emerged on social media of a large gathering.

Locals said there were "constant helicopter noises" and claimed hundreds of people had attended.

Lambeth MPS tweeted: "Officers are currently at Streatham Common where an unlicensed music event is taking place.

"They have engaged with a large number of those in attendance and the crowd has now almost entirely dispersed."

The gatherings come despite social distancing rules, which prohibit gatherings of more than six, remaining in place.

Dozens of police officers were spotted at the common
Dozens of police officers were spotted at the common. Picture: Phil Brown/Twitter

Earlier on Thursday evening, police had said they were “aware that there are further unlicensed music events, block parties and raves taking place and have put extra resources into boroughs, to work alongside local police colleagues.”

It came after 22 police officers were injured in Brixton on Wednesday while attempting to break up a party which spiralled out of control.

Four people were arrested after the "unlicensed" music event near the Angell Town estate descended into violence.

In a statement, police added: “Officers will continue to engage with communities, and respond to emergency calls as usual.

“However, we will not tolerate the violence we have recently seen in London.

“There are additional officers in place overnight to ensure that we have an effective and prompt response to any reports of disorder.”

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.

“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.

Hundreds of people reportedly gathered for a party at the south London park
Hundreds of people reportedly gathered for a party at the south London park. Picture: Phil Brown/Twitter

“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.”