Coronavirus: London police break up illegal parties as fears of a resurgence mount

Authorities have been forced to mobilise extra police officers in London after some large gatherings turn violent

Europe is coming out of lockdown and Europeans are making the most of it

Europe is coming out of lockdown and Europeans are making the most of it
Powered by automated translation

Police in London have been attacked at an illegal music event as fears grow that people in the UK are ignoring health experts’ warnings about the continued threat of the coronavirus.

Officers capital had objects thrown at them by party goers as they dispersed crowds in city’s Notting Hill district.

“This gathering is illegal and we ask anyone in attendance to leave,” police said.

London’s police force had already announced an enhanced policing operation in the capital.

Senior commander Bas Javid said police had been forced to wear personal protective equipment as they sought to break up the event.

“Our role is to keep our communities safe and this evening people can expect to see a heightened police presence out in areas where we know these events are taking place,” he said.

“This is in direct response to concerns expressed by our communities, many of whom were scared and shocked by the events taking place outside their homes.”

Police were also sent to an illegal music event in Streatham, south-west London on Thursday night, although there were no reports of violence.

It follows “appalling scenes” on Wednesday at a party on Wednesday in Brixton, south London, where police vehicles were smashed and officers pelted with bottles during clashes with a large crowd. At least 22 officers were injured in scenes described by the interior minister, Priti Patel, as “utterly vile”.

On Thursday authorities were forced to declare a major incident, meaning added emergency services must be mobilised, at a popular beach in Bournemouth, southern England, after thousands flocked to the seaside as temperatures soared.

Local MP Tobias Ellwood said as many as half a million people had gone to the beach in the wider region.

“A lot of people have chosen to be not just irresponsible but dangerous. We’ve made such progress tackling this pandemic. I’d hate to see Bournemouth be the one place in Britain that gets that second spike,” he said.

It follows warnings from the World Health Organisation that cases of Covid-19 in Europe were rising as lockdown measures are eased.

WHO special envoy for Covid-19 David Nabarro, said some countries in Europe had unveiled a “really effective response” to surges but added that the situation on the continent remained “touch and go”.

“I really think that [England’s chief medical officer] Chris Whitty’s point that ‘the virus is still in general circulation’ is important,” he told BBC Radio 4.

“So let’s hope that we are able to prevent these small clusters and little outbreaks from becoming overwhelming as we had earlier this year.

A worker cleans rubbish from the street at Angell Town estate in Brixton, London, Britain, June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

“I don’t personally get really concerned when I see people outside in the open, because as you have just said, transmission is less likely to occur there.

“But it’s what happens out of sight that I’m more worried about. People going to the toilet and being in a queue and perhaps there being transmission there,” he added.

View from London

Your weekly update from the UK and Europe

View from London