Around 140 officers injured in London during protests and illegal parties

Around 140 officers have been injured in London in the last three weeks, the Metropolitan Police commissioner has revealed.

Cressida Dick said the aggression shown to officers at recent illegal street parties in the capital has been “utterly unacceptable”.

As well as a number of illegal street parties in recent days, there have been protests and counter-protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody in the US.

Police confront angry crowd in Brixton

Earlier this month, 23 officers were injured during violent clashes involving several hundred anti-racism protesters and rival demonstrators in central London.

Dame Cressida said the force has a “duty” to shut down unlawful music events during the coronavirus pandemic.

She was speaking after police officers came under attack for a second night in the capital.

Revellers ‘completely flouting health regulations’

Officers were pelted with objects on Thursday night after being sent to break up a street party in Notting Hill, west London.

She said the Met were on the lookout for illegal parties after 22 officers were injured in violent scenes in Brixton, south London, on Wednesday evening.

Dame Cressida said the force had “closed down several before they even got going”, but condemned violence in Notting Hill as “completely, utterly unacceptable”.

Social distancing flouted in Notting Hill

“These events are unlawful,” she said.

“They shouldn’t be happening and we have a duty to go and close them down and to disperse them.

“The local communities hate them, [it is] incredibly anti-social behaviour, very noisy during a pandemic and sometimes [there is] violence.

“For our officers who are simply doing their duty to be attacked is utterly unacceptable.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the recent violence has been “appalling”.

Illegal party filmed in south London

“The police have my full backing in tackling criminality & enforcing the law – criminals will face consequences,” she wrote on Twitter.

“My best wishes go to those officers injured.”

Scotland Yard said extra officers in protective gear had been dispatched to illegal raves and street parties around London on Thursday following the violent scenes in Brixton.

Dame Cressida said three officers sustained “really quite nasty injuries”, adding: “It was a really really horrible incident for them to deal with, really vicious attacks by people using bottles, glasses and anything they could pick up.”

She said the number of officers injured is now “heading up to 140-odd officers” in the last three weeks.

Police called to illegal street party

No officers were injured in the Notting Hill incident, which the Dame Cressida described as “very unacceptable behaviour but very much less serious”.

Officers also attended another party on Streatham Common, south London.

Sky News reporter Noel Phillips attended the scene of a separate illegal rave in Tottenham, north London, where police officers congregated near a crowd of people outside a venue.

In a message to the public, Dame Cressida said: “Tell us about unlicensed music events. We will come and close them down.

“My message to my officers is that I will support you and I will do everything I can to ensure that you are able to do your job to your best ability and that you are well equipped.”

The commissioner also voiced her concerns about the potential for more violence over the weekend.

She said London has experienced “a very difficult few weeks” as the COVID-19 lockdown has been eased and some people have “very high feelings” about issues such as Black Lives Matter.

Noting there have been both peaceful and violent protests, she 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.”

*story by Sky News