Met Police Commander defends force's ability to tackle illegal raves

25 June 2020, 23:44 | Updated: 26 June 2020, 07:36

The Met Police Commander in charge of tackling illegal raves in London has defended the force's decision to back off in Brixton on Wednesday night

Commander Bas Javid old Tom Swarbrick that it was a "reasonable" decision for officers to withdraw from the streets of Brixton on Wednesday night, as they came under attack.

He added that extra resources had been deployed on Thursday night in boroughs across London, while also stressing that illegal raves are especially dangerous during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tom asked: "We saw police officers being chased out of a particular area, having bottles thrown at them, having people run at them carrying knives and police turning and fleeing because presumably because they didn't have the right equipment.

"Why are these officers not going in there equipped to do the job of shutting this down?"

Commander Javid said: "When you're faced with very large numbers in a very challenging and dynamic situation, you have to make a tactical decision that suits the occasion.

"On Wednesday, that decision was to make a withdrawal. And that is a very reasonable tactical option in a very dynamic situation like that."

But Tom insisted: "Would they have had to withdraw if they had the correct equipment with them? If they had the riot shields and helmets to fend off the bottles and other things being thrown at them?"

Watch the full interview at the top of the page.