A car tries to drive along a street filled with revellers. AFP
Eleven police officers were injured while trying to break up an unlicensed music event in west London, the latest in a series of illegal gatherings in the British capital over the past couple of weeks that have descended into violence.
Police said everyone in attendance at the event in White City had been dispersed by 1:15 a.m. Saturday morning, a few hours after complaints were first received of a mass gathering at a housing project.
The Metropolitan Police, London's overarching police force, said bricks and other objects were thrown at officers on their arrival. Specially trained public order officers clad in protective gear then arrived to get control of the situation.
The police force said two officers suffered broken bones, while nine others sustained non-serious injuries. No arrests have been made.
Detective Chief Inspector Luke Wyllie said police are in the process of identifying those involved in the "violence and disorder.”
"We will not allow those intent on causing harm get away with this behavior,” he said.
Last week, 22 police officers were slightly injured after a street party in the south London district of Brixton descended into violence. Another gathering in Notting Hill in west London also led to clashes.
Following the Brixton clashes on June 24, the Met's highest-ranked police offer, Cressida Dick, said the number of police injuries is "heading up to 140-odd officers” over the three weeks prior, including those hurt during protests in the wake of the brutal killing of George Floyd in the U.S.
Under coronavirus restrictions in England, gatherings are limited to six people, even after Saturday when pubs and restaurants can reopen in the latest easing of the lockdown.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the latest attack on police as "disgraceful” and that extra police will be out on Saturday.
"Violence against the police will not be tolerated and perpetrators will be caught and prosecuted," he said.
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