Protesters armed with sticks clash with Met Police amid 'community tensions'

Police and crowds following a disturbance near to the Lighthouse Theatre in Camberwell Road, south east London. Picture date: Saturday December 30, 2023.a
Police stand by the Lighthouse Theatre in Camberwell Road. Credit: PA

Protesters faced-off with police in south London today following a demonstration related to “tensions in the Eritrean community”, Scotland Yard has said. Social media footage of the incident in Camberwell appeared to show protesters wielding sticks clashing with Met Police officers, bringing traffic to a standstill.

Eight people were arrested for offences including violent disorder, criminal damage, possession of offensive weapon and assault on an emergency worker, police said. Four officers were injured, one of whom was taken to hospital and has now been discharged.

There is still a heavy police presence on the scene in Camberwell Road, where a demonstration saw approximately 50 people gathering outside a private venue before violence broke out. The clashes are said to have taken place near The Lighthouse Theatre. Additional officers were called in to provide back-up, Scotland Yard said.

The Met said a number of arrests have been made. Credit: PA

A dispersal order has been put in place in the area until 7am tomorrow, giving police the power to exclude a person from the area.

In a statement, the Met Police said: "We are aware of footage being shared online. This will be investigated, alongside other evidence, to identify anyone else who may have committed criminal offences.

"Officers have been working with a group of people who organised an event at a private venue in Camberwell Road. Those arrested were part of a group of demonstrators who gathered *outside* the venue."

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