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LATEST: Police response to unlicensed music events

News   •   Jun 27, 2020 17:00 BST

Officers dealing with unlicensed music events (UMEs) in London on Friday, 26 June and the morning of Saturday, 27 June have so far made seven arrests and seized two weapons.

One man was arrested and a firearm seized following a gathering in Newham. Another was arrested after being found in possession of a Rambo-style knife at the same location.

At around 16:50hrs on Friday, 26 June, police received a number of calls from concerned residents reporting a large gathering of people setting up a sound system in Hoskins Close, E16. 

Officers attended and dispersed the crowd. At the location they found a suspected firearm. It was immediately seized and made safe.

Urgent enquiries were conducted in the area and a suspect was identified and arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm. He remains in police custody. 

Another suspect found in possession of a ‘Rambo’ knife at the same location also remains in custody.

Five other people were arrested in connection with UMEs. 

Three of these relate to a UME in Third Avenue W9 which later regrouped in Riverton Close, W9. The arrests were on suspicion of violent disorder, breach of Covid health regulations and racially aggravated public order towards officers. 

Two other people were arrested at the same event for attacks on officers. One for throwing a bar stool at an officer, who was uninjured, and the other for racially abusing an officer. 

Two officers suffered injuries whilst policing last night’s events. They did not require hospital treatment.

Commander Bas Javid, Frontline Policing, said: “All of the events which took place last night were illegal and in breach of the Covid regulations. We had officers out across the capital working hard to disperse them. 

“The vast majority of people who attended engaged with officers and moved away from the locations without issue. However, again, a number refused to leave and became violent. We have made it very clear this type of behaviour will not be tolerated and there are a number of post-event investigations now underway. 

“Residents living near where these events took place were understandably scared and concerned. We received numerous calls for police to attend and disperse the large, intimidating groups. 

“Our officers have done a very good job in some very difficult circumstances. I applaud the way they have been able to tackle some difficult situations. The seizure of two lethal weapons overnight further emphasises why the dispersal of these events is crucial to protecting our communities.

“My big push to people today, particularly to those who have taken to disregarding the current health regulations, is to very much comply with those health regulations. They are there for your own safety, as well as that of your family and communities.”