Police officer attacked as huge Eid street celebrations in London 'descend into violence'

Chaos and violence broke out in east London on Thursday night after the Metropolitan police force swooped in to break up a 200-strong Eid street party. Concerned onlookers called the police at around 11:30pm after witnessing a mass street party celebrating Eid in Ilford. According to the police, they recieved a number of calls from worried members of the public who had spotted a large group of people gathered on the street ahead of the religious festival, prompting fears of overcrowding. 

Footage from the scene shared on social media shows people congregating in the road and blocking vehicles from passing through.

When police officers intervened and tried to disperse the crowd, violence flared up.

While a majority of the crowd left the area peacefully, a public brawl broke out between two groups along Rutland Road.

Police rushed to break up the fight, which left one officer with a head injury.

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Following the fight, a man has been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and assaulting a police officer.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman of the Met’s East Area Command said: “While we accept that celebrations take place, and we have no desire to spoil them for the community, if they descend into violence we absolutely will step in.

“A number of calls were received last night from concerned members of the public and while we appreciate this is a time of excitement and celebration for some, the sight and sound of such a large group was concerning and even distressing for others.

“That this size of gathering has taken place during a pandemic is concerning.

The Leader of Redbridge Council, Councillor Jas Athwal, added: “We want people to enjoy the summertime and especially times of celebration both safely and peacefully. We certainly don’t want to see a repeat of the scenes that marred Ilford Lane last night.

“We’re still in the middle of a global pandemic, and people must be mindful of that. Gathering in large groups is not safe for individuals, their friends or their family members who they may end up inadvertently infecting with the virus.”

Ilford South MP Sam Tarry condemned the “unacceptable” incident: “I call on those that were affected to report the incident to the police. There can be absolutely no excuse given for such behaviour on our streets, even more so during a pandemic.”

Speaking on behalf of the Redbridge Conservative group, Councillor Ruth Clark said: “I am not only concerned about the violence and attack on our police but also very worried about the lack of social distancing.

“Whilst the number of Covid-19 positives remains fairly low in Redbridge, we are the 12th highest on the list of Covid-19 cases in London and we must ensure that there will be no spike which could result in a lockdown.”


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