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Commander BJ Harrington speaks about yesterday's disorder in London

Blog post   •   Jul 20, 2016 17:00 BST

[IMAGE: Commander BJ Harrington]

Yesterday was a gorgeous sunny day in the Capital, that was sadly marred by disorder and violence in three places after the sun went down.

Our officers worked hard into the early hours to get people to go home, stop them breaking the law and from hurting each other, whilst in some cases coming under attack themselves.

Five police officers were injured including one of those being stabbed. Three members of the public were also stabbed.

All three incidents were spontaneous and were sparked when police were called by the public to large gatherings where they had concerns about crime and disorder. At Hyde Park and Stamford Hill these were unlicensed music events. In Burgess Park this was a large gathering where people had started fighting.

The reason we step in to stop unlicensed music events from happening is simple - they are not safe.

Events like these disrupt and scare neighbours; as we have seen over the past 18 months, these events attract people intent on violence; they attract criminals who deal drugs and rob people; there is no guarantee that the venue is safe and often no one is keeping an eye out to stop trouble.

So, as the sun continues to shine in London today and people are out and about enjoying themselves, we have put extra officers on duty to make sure there is no repeat of the ugly and violent scenes we saw last night.

If you are thinking of going along to an event, check it’s licensed. If you are a parent and know your child is going out tonight, check that where they are going is safe for them. It’s quite simply not worth the risk to go along to an event that could quickly spiral out of control.

We are now carrying out an investigation, led by our Homicide and Major Crime Command to track down the organisers of last night’s trouble; identify those that terrified people whilst they were at work; attacked other people and attacked our officers.

We’ve got hours and hours of CCTV from last night, including footage from the ground and from the police helicopter. This is all being reviewed and we will be coming to arrest people as soon as we know who they are.

If you know anyone who was involved in crime last night or anyone who is planning further events over the coming days then please help us keep London safe for everyone and get in touch to tell us what you know.

To make sure we’ve got extra officers on duty right across London today and until the end of the weekend, we’ve told our staff that no one else can take any leave.

Enjoy London, and make the most of the sun, but there’s no excuse for breaking the law and leaving yourself open to arrest, which could ruin more than just your day."