LONDON (AP) — Seven police officers have been 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 people gathering at a housing project.
The Metropolitan Police, London's overarching police force, said bricks and other missiles were thrown at officers on their arrival. Specially trained public order officers clad in protective gear then arrived to get control of the situation.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said seven officers had sustained injuries as a result of the clashes. The seriousness of their injuries has not been revealed.
“Officers have responded to residents complaining about a large gathering, noise, anti-social behaviour and violence,” he said. “These gatherings are illegal and also pose a risk to public health."
No arrests have yet been made, police 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.