Downing Street has condemned the “appalling scenes” which saw at least 22 police officers injured after a street party descended into violence.
Footage on social media showed police vehicles smashed and officers pelted with bottles during clashes with a large crowd on the Angell Town estate in Brixton, south London.
People can be seen brandishing weapons and chasing police in the videos posted online.
Home Secretary Priti Patel described the scenes as “utterly vile” and said she would be speaking to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.
At least 22 police officers were injured, two of whom required hospital treatment, while four people have been arrested for assault and public order offences, the Metropolitan Police said.
But Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said that nearly 30 of his colleagues were hurt.
Police said officers tried to “encourage the crowd to leave” after police were called to reports of a “large unlicensed music event” in Overton Road on Wednesday night.
One witness, who did not want to be named, said:
In footage posted online one person can be seen bleeding from the face following clashes with others.
London Ambulance Service said one person was taken to a major trauma centre, while another was taken to hospital.
A woman, who also wished to remain anonymous, said she was too scared to go outside.
Ken Marsh described the incident as “absolutely shocking”.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that large gatherings during the Covid-19 pandemic are “deeply irresponsible and risk others’ lives”.
Priti Patel condemned the violence, which came days after a suspected terrorist was tackled to the ground by an unarmed police officer in Reading, Berkshire, on Saturday evening.
The Metropolitan Police said the party was finally cleared in the early hours of Thursday, while a Section 60 order, which gives police powers to stop and search without reasonable suspicion, was later put in place in the area.
A bus driver, who wanted to be identified only as Michael, said it was “very upsetting” that the violence happened in his area.