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‘Small minority chose to break the law’ says borough chief after Harlesden block party

PUBLISHED: 13:04 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:04 03 June 2020

Police gather at 'Block Party' in Harlesden. Picture: David Nathan

Police gather at 'Block Party' in Harlesden. Picture: David Nathan

Archant

Eleven police officers were assaulted at an illegal street party that saw more than 500 people descend on Church End & Roundwood.

Crowds attend 'Block Party' in Harlesden. Picture: David NathanCrowds attend 'Block Party' in Harlesden. Picture: David Nathan

Five people “not from the local area” were arrested and are currently in custody after the numbers of revellers swelled into the hundreds at the ‘block party’ last night (June 2).

Crowds swarmed into Gifford Road and neighbouring streets ignoring covid-19 lockdown measures.

Music was played, fireworks were launched while police helicopters circled overhead.

Police had earlier put in place a section 60 stop & search order covering the area authorised until 6am this morning “to robustly police the area and reassure the community.”

Borough commander Chf Supt Roy Smith, said: “To the very small minority who chose to break the law last night and who were not from the local area, I am clear; you do not reflect the communities of Brent and we will take appropriate action.

“Local residents should be reassured we will be increasing our patrols in the area following the incident.”

He added: “Our officers are working hard to engage with the public to reinforce the public health advice on social distancing and large gatherings – overwhelmingly our local communities have been supportive and responded to this approach and we thank them for that.

Police were called at 6.45pm by locals reporting that some 60 people were gathered at an illegal music event on the Stonebridge Estate.

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Officers attended and encouraged them to go home and the group began to disperse, Scotland Yard said.

A spokesperson said: “However, a larger group of around 500 people then gathered in Paulet Way.

“Officers were in attendance and again engaged with those there to disperse the group, which the vast majority began to do.

“Eleven officers were assaulted and received minor injuries when a small minority refused to leave.

“Five arrests were made – three for assault on police, one for affray and one for attempted grievous bodily harm and dangerous driving.

“All remain in custody at this stage.”

The group left at around 3.40pm, the Met added.


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