London was hit by an “horrific night of spontaenous violence” after the hottest day of the year, one of the capital’s top police officers said today.
Trouble flared in at least three London areas on the hottest day of the year as parties descended into chaos.
In Hyde Park, five police officers were injured, including one who was stabbed in the hand, as a water fight turned into a 2,000-strong “warzone” which raged into the early hours.
More ugly scenes occurred at an illegal rave in Hackney, while local police tweeted that a water fight in Burgess Park, Peckham, led to a serious stabbing.
Speaking about the trouble today, Commander BJ Harrington, head of Met operations, defended the force’s Hyde Park tactics, which saw them intervene when revellers set up a soundsystem.
He told BBC Radio London: “The people of London are waking up this morning to some horrific scenes of spontaneous violence.
Addressing the scenes in Hyde Park, he added: “Officers deployed through that crowd and found themselves under attack.
“We responded quickly and I’m really proud of the way the officers dealt with these incidents.”
He denied claims by some people that police, who used riot gear, escalated things by moving in when loud bashment music started being played.
“These events are not safe,” he insisted.
“There are people coming together who are clearly willing to carry knives, to throw bottles and to injure people,
“There’s a duty on us to deal with that seriously.”
He added: “I’d make an appeal to parents and people who are thinking about attending some of these spontaneous events – they’re not safe.”
Police are now appealing for anyone who took footage of the Hyde Park violence or who saw anything to get in touch on 0208 246 0076 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.