Clash with police after ‘illegal’ London street party

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LONDON (AP) – Police say that a street party in south London’s Brixton neighborhood that violated the restrictions on coronavirus locking caused violence and left 15 officers slightly injured.

In a statement Thursday, the Metropolitan Police said they had been called overnight for “a major unlicensed music event on the street” and that officers unsuccessfully tried to encourage the crowd to leave.

As a result, it said more police officers were arriving and the revelers were starting to become ‘hostile’. Images on social media showed that a number of police vehicles were destroyed and bottles were thrown at officers. Police said two of those injured officers needed hospital treatment.

Police said four people were arrested for sexual assault and public order and are still in custody.

Police chief Colin Wingrove said the violence was “completely unacceptable” and investigations are now underway.

“Last night, we got numerous concerns from residents who complained about a large gathering, noise, antisocial behavior and violence, and officers responded to those concerns,” said Chief of Police Colin Wingrove. “These meetings are illegal, but they also pose a risk to public health and coronavirus restrictions.”

Under lockdown restrictions in England, groups are limited to six people.

Emma Nye, a local Labor Party representative, condemned the skirmishes and said the vast majority of residents did not participate.

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