Police forces across Britain are cracking down on lockdown parties and illegal raves after violence erupted in London this week.
A massive block party took place in West Kilburn yesterday afternoon before moving to Maida Vale where riot police with shields and truncheons battled hundreds of revellers who threw missiles at them.
It marked the third night of unrest after raves Brixton and Notting Hill which both turned violent and led to police injuries.
The violence seen against police in recent weeks prompted many senior figures – including Home Secretary Priti Patel and former Met Police commissioner Lord Ian Blair – to condemn the
The Met have pledged to put around 1,000 riot-trained officers on standby and more than 80 police vans on the streets of London today ahead of predicted clashes this weekend.
A Section 60 order – giving police additional stop and search powers – was put in place last night but expired this morning.
Following unrest in Exmouth this week – including a mass brawl involving up to 200 people – Devon and Cornwall police have put together a dispersal notice to ensure those likely to cause trouble can be moved along.
A massive block party in Maida Vale took place yesterday afternoon as riot police battled hundreds of revellers with shields and truncheons while dodging missiles thrown at them
Other footage taken that night shows revellers dancing on top of a van during the rave in London
Police formed a barricade and raised their shields as various missiles were thrown at them
In Cheshire, police have vowed to crack down on a planned rave in Knutsford this weekend while in Staffordshire, officers warned potential revellers to ‘pause and think’.
Superintendent of Local Policing in Exeter, East and Mid-Devon, Antony Hart said: ‘Over the past two days there have been a number of incidents of disorder and anti-social behaviour in the area of Exmouth sea front and Orcombe Point.
‘These reports have included large groups of young people and adults fighting, a serious assault and officers being verbally abused and spat at. Needless to say, this is absolutely unacceptable behaviour and it will not be tolerated.
‘As a result of these matters we will be putting out an increased high visibility police presence in the area over the coming days and those arriving can expect to be greeted by officers. Those who are involved in anti-social behaviour will be robustly dealt with, and we will seek out those who have committed offences.
Following unrest in Exmouth this week – including a mass brawl involving up to 200 people – Devon and Cornwall police have put together a dispersal notice to ensure those likely to cause trouble can be moved along
Riot police with shields broke up an illegal party at Maida Vale, west London tonight
‘A Section 35 dispersal order has been put in place between 12pm on Friday 26 and 12pm on Sunday 28 June to cover the sea front area. Anyone who is formally given notice to disperse from the area must not return within the notice period and anyone who does is liable for arrest and prosecution.’
A Cheshire Police spokesperson said: ‘There is information to suggest that a rave will be taking place within the #Knutsford area this weekend. Numerous officers are out on patrol across the area checking in on hotspots.
‘If you have any information as to where this is taking place please call us on 101.’
Staffordshire Police Chief Constable Gareth Morgan told Stoke on Trent Live: ‘When you’re planning to go out, breach Covid guidance to ‘party’ and put yourself and everyone else at risk, can you pause and think about someone else other than yourself?
‘My colleagues have been working at full stretch for over three months. They’re tired but turn up every day.’
Helicopters circled overhead during the rave in West Kilburn last night as crowds ‘refused to leave the location’ after officers first engaged with them at 3pm.
The majority of revellers at the West Kilburn ‘block party’ are thought to have later marched through London to take part in a rave in Maida Vale.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said ‘consequences will follow’ for those who attack officers and damage property.
She wrote in The Sun that it has been a ‘very difficult week’ in the capital, with officers coming under attack as they tried to break up crowds.
She said: ‘The officers I met this week were poised to deal with whatever they faced. Hundreds ready in full kit, should there be a violent or aggressive crowd to deal with.
Police speaking with revellers as illegal raves break out across the UK this week
Revellers packed Maida Vale after a crowd marched from a party in West Kilburn yesterday
‘My message to those involved in thuggery and criminal damage is consequences will follow.’
Dame Cressida earlier said the force had a ‘duty’ to stop unlawful music events during the Covid-19 pandemic and vowed: ‘We will be prepared this weekend.’
She said police were on the lookout for illegal parties after dozens of officers were injured in violent scenes in Brixton on Wednesday evening and in Notting Hill on Thursday.
The commissioner said: ‘We have seen some large numbers of people completely flouting the health regulations, seeming not to care at all about their own or their families’ health and wanting to have large parties.
‘It is hot. Some people have drunk far too much. Some people are just angry and aggressive and some people are plain violent.
‘We will be prepared this weekend. We have officers all over London working hard again to try to keep the peace and to protect our public from violence and disorder.’
She suggested the number of police injuries is now ‘heading up to 140-odd officers’ in the past three weeks, including those hurt during protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in the US.
Police speaking with revellers wearing face masks as illegal raves break out across the UK
Police are bracing for more violence and disorder this weekend as illegal raves have broken out across London today for a third night running
Video footage shows a massive party in West Kilburn as police battled revellers with shields and truncheons while loud music blared
Riot police with shields breaking up an illegal rave in Maida Vale, west London today
Speaking of the protests, Dame Cressida – who insisted the force is not institutionally racist – told HuffPost UK: ‘Over the last few weeks, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, I’ve become much better informed about the Black Lives Matter movement and multiple events –but in particular the appalling video of George Floyd’s death.
She added: ‘The phrase Black Lives Matter is a very important one. Black lives do matter and should matter to us all, obviously, and in this city of all cities and my police – which I believe is the best in the world and is here to bring justice, prevent crime and keep people safe.’
Home Secretary Priti Patel told the Daily Express those who attack police ‘will be taken off our streets’.
John Apter, the national chair of the Police Federation, has warned the Government’s announcement about loosening the lockdown on July 4 could be ‘a countdown to party time’.
He said: ‘This will, without doubt, add more pressure on policing, paramedics and the wider NHS.’
It comes after a week of disorder following multiple illegal parties held during the June mini-heatwave – in which temperatures have soared to 90F.
Disorder broke out at a rave in Colville Gardens, Notting Hill in the early hours of yesterday – just 24 hours after a ‘mini riot’ broke out in Brixton.
On Wednesday night in Brixton, police vehicles were smashed and officers pelted with bottles during clashes with a large crowd, with Downing Street condemning the ‘appalling’ scenes and Ms Patel calling them ‘utterly vile’.
Three men suffered knife wounds during a fight on a packed Bournemouth beach yesterday, while 50 youths brawled in Exmouth, Devon.
A massive block party in West Kilburn took place this afternoon as riot police battled hundreds of revellers with shields and truncheons
The majority of revellers at the West Kilburn ‘block party’ are thought to have then marched through London to join another rave in Maida Vale
Police said that the crowds ‘refused to leave the location’ after officers first engaged with them at the illegal party at around 3pm
Riot police struggled to clear yet another London block party yesterday after officers were attacked in a violent street party in Brixton
It comes after a week of violence at multiple illegal parties during the June mini-heatwave which has seen temperatures soar to 90F
Met Commissioner Cressida Dick spoke with Priti Patel over the illegal raves this week
One officer was injured and five police vehicles trashed at an illegal party attended by 150 people in Longsight, Manchester this week.
Police broke up 39 gatherings in Greater Manchester on Thursday alone.
It follows three lockdown-defying raves earlier this month, during which a teenager was raped, three people were stabbed and a man died of a suspected drug overdose.
Mayor Sadiq Khan announces £110million police cuts hours after Met chief Cressida Dick vowed to crack down on London’s illegal raves in showdown talks with Home Secretary Priti Patel
London Mayor Sadiq Khan stunned the public after announcing £110million of police cuts just hours after Met chief Cressida Dick vowed to crack down on London’s illegal raves.
The top officer, 59, said 140 force staff had been hurt trying to break up the outlawed gatherings which she branded ‘completely utterly unacceptable’. She insisted the police had managed to stop a number of the lockdown-breaking events, including one in Mitcham last night.
But it came as Mr Khan said he expected to have to make cuts to police funding due to a £493million shortfall sparked by the pandemic.
The developments came hours after a phone call between Dame Cressida and Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Mrs Patel had said she wanted a ‘full explanation’ after fear police were losing control of the streets.
In Carrington, there were reports of three separate stabbings at a 2,000-strong party, including one which left an 18-year-old man with life-threatening injuries. Two other men, aged 25 and 26, were also injured.
Police said they are also investigating the rape of an 18-year-old woman who attended the Carrington event.
In Oldham, a 20-year-old died of a drug overdose during a party of 4,000. His family are today being supported by specialist officers.
Illegal ravers also caused chaos on the M1 near Leeds as well, after police attempted to break-up a ‘huge crowd’ of young people partying in a concrete tunnel near to the busy motorway.
And a fight erupted among 100 people at a beach in Bridgend, South Wales.
Commissioner Cressida Dick said scenes from Notting Hill showed ‘very unacceptable behaviour but very much less serious’ than the trouble in Brixton.
The commissioner, who noted some injuries may not be reported until after the incident, suggested the number of police injuries is ‘heading up to 140-odd officers, I think, in the last three weeks’.
Speaking to the Daily Express, Ms Patel said: ‘The police have my full support in upholding the rule of law and tackling this thuggery.’
She added: ‘I want to see those responsible arrested, brought to justice and taken off our streets – before they put even more people in danger.’
Ken Marsh, of the Met Police Federation, said: ‘We have got to get a grip. We need to be in control and I think we will see a more robust strategy put in place.’
Former-commissioner Lord Blair told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme said: ‘It cannot be right that this level of injury to officers is seen as acceptable.’
He added: ‘This is not a normal situation where an occupation carries this sort of risk of injury every day.
‘That seen as the policewoman riding her horse and being smashed against the road sign because people were so angry is just not appropriate.
‘Obviously this is a matter for courts and sentencing but I also think it is actually a matter for public conversation. This should not be like this.’
Commissioner Dick came under pressure as she was accused of turning the Met into a ‘laughing stock’ and abandoning ‘law abiding residents’ to ‘mob rule’.
The top officer, 59, said 140 force staff had been hurt trying to break up the outlawed gatherings which she branded ‘completely utterly unacceptable’.
She said the police had managed to stop a number of the illegal music events, including one in Mitcham last night.
But as she vowed to crack down on illegal raves, Sadiq Khan yesterday announced £110million of police cuts – to the astonishment of the public.
It came as Mr Khan, the London Mayor, said he expected to make huge cuts to police funding due to a £493million shortfall sparked by the pandemic.
Commenting on the outbreak of illegal raves, Nigel Farage told MailOnline he fears a summer of violence after police in London were attacked.
He said: ‘There is more to come. Respect for the police is gone’.
Two men set about vandalising a police car after a party in Brixton erupted into violence
Home Secretary Priti Patel described the scenes in Brixton as ‘utterly vile’ this week
An unlicensed block party can be seen in full swing on Thursday night with minimal to no police presence after a party in nearby Brixton ended in violent scenes the night before