Police attacked while breaking up illegal rave at nightclub

·3-min read
The nightclub is on Lambeth Walk in London. (Google Maps)
The nightclub is on Lambeth Walk in London. (Google Maps)

Police were attacked as they broke up an illegal rave at a nightclub in south London.

Officers were called to the unlicensed music event at the illegally operating club on Lambeth Walk, Lambeth Road, at 1.10am on Sunday morning.

Under current coronavirus rules, nightclubs are still not allowed to reopen with restrictions set to be lifted on 21 June, according to the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Since April last year, the Metropolitan Police has issued 17,845 fixed penalty notices for failures to comply with rules on gatherings and events, according to the force’s latest data.

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During these operations, many officers have been injured as they worked to shut down the illegal events.

On Sunday, Met Police officers had to force their way into the Lambeth nightclub where they found around 60 people inside the venue.

They worked to close down the party and clear the surrounding area but the crowd was hostile, the force said.

Several officers were assaulted and received minor injuries.

Meanwhile, two men were arrested in connection with the incident.

Watch: 'Breeding ground for the virus': Police break up illegal rave in London

A 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of drunk and disorderly behaviour and taken to a south London police station.

He was given a fixed penalty notice while in custody.

Meanwhile, a 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault on an emergency worker and was charged. 

He was bailed to appear before Croydon Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 1 June.

Inspector Dave Laurie, partnership and prevention lead for the Central South Command Unit, said: “Though restrictions are beginning to ease, this type of large gathering remains prohibited. 

"Not only were those present taking unnecessary risks, they were also causing significant nuisance and disruption to the local area.

"Officers should feel safe when going about their work on the frontline. The response they received is unacceptable. 

"The behaviour of a minority will not be tolerated and we will continue to work in partnership with bodies like the council to keep our communities safe."

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Lambeth Council’s deputy leader Jacqui Dyer said: "This is an extraordinary example of the commitment shown by Lambeth Council, the police and our partners to protect our residents.

“Venues such as these are illegal, unlicensed and can pose a serious risk to the safety of neighbouring residents as well as those who attend. They often lack fire safety precautions or basic first aid and lack the safeguards required of licensed, legal venues.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has not gone away. Mass gatherings involving 60 people, inside a small space with no social distancing is totally unacceptable."

The Met Police said officers from the South Area Command Unit were assisted by colleagues from the emergency response team, Proactive Partnership Plus, Lambeth Council and Lambeth Licensing.

Watch: More than £15,000 fines handed out following illegal rave in east London