LONDON (AP) — Police say a street party in the south London district of Brixton that violated coronavirus lockdown restrictions descended into violence, and 22 officers were slightly injured as a result.
In a statement Thursday, the Metropolitan Police said they were called overnight to “a large unlicensed music event in the street” and that officers unsuccessfully sought to encourage the crowd to leave.
As a result, it said, more police officers arrived and the revellers started turning “hostile.” Footage on social media showed that a number of police vehicles were smashed and bottles thrown at officers. Police said none of the officers suffered serious injury but that two required hospital treatment.
Police said four people were arrested for assault and public order offenses and they remain in police custody.
Home Secretary Priti Patel described the images as “utterly vile scenes” and said she would be speaking to the Metropolitan Police’s top police officer, Cressida Dick.
Police commander Colin Wingrove said the violence was “totally unacceptable” and an investigation is now taking place.
“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,” he said. “These gatherings are unlawful, as well as posing a risk to public health and against coronavirus restrictions.”
Under lockdown restrictions in England, groups are limited to six people.
Emma Nye, a local Labour Party representative, condemned the clashes and said the vast majority of residents did not take part.