MYSTERY SURROUNDS a street fight which broke out in Ilford late on Thursday night, 30th July, among a crowd of people who had been attending an Eid celebration.
Despite calls on the public to celebrate the festival at home, at least 200 people had been celebrating at a venue in or near Ilford Lane. At around 11.30pm, a crowd of 150-200 of them spilled out on to the road, near the junction with Dudley Road. There were so many people that the road was quite blocked, and a large number of people called the police.
Police were soon on the scene and asked the crowd to disperse. People did begin to break away from the crowd and head off. A fight then broke out between two groups of people at Rutland Road. Police moved in to stop the fight and one police officer sustained a head injury.
A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of a public order offence and assaulting an emergency worker. As the man was being taken to an East London police station, he became unwell and was diverted to an East London hospital. His condition is not thought to be serious.
Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, who leads the Metropolitan Police East Area Command, said, “While we accept that celebrations take place, and we have no desire to spoil them for the community, if they descend into violence we absolutely will step in. A number of calls were received last night from concerned members of the public and while we appreciate this is a time of excitement and celebration for some, the sight and sound of such a large group was concerning and even distressing for others.
“That this size of gathering has taken place during a pandemic is concerning. I remind all of our communities to respect each other and ensure that the government guidelines around social distancing are followed.
“Following a work day of protecting the public, one of my officers has had to return home to his family with a head injury. This is beyond unacceptable and I would like to be very clear that anyone assaulting an officer in the course of his or her duty will be arrested and placed before the courts.”