A police officer was injured breaking up a massive brawl in Ilford last week.

A fight broken out after police dispersed a crowd of around 150-200 people who had attended Eid celebrations on Thursday, July 30.

Police were called to the Ilford Lane, near the junction with Dudley Road, at about 11.30pm to reports the road had been blocked to traffic.

As crowds began to leave the area, a fight broke out between two groups at Rutland Road.

One of the intervening police officers suffered a head injury.

A man was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and assault of an emergency worker.

En route to custody the man became unwell and was taken to an east London hospital as a precaution. Police say his injuries are not believed to be serious.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, leading the Met’s East Area Command said: “While we accept that celebrations take place, and we have no desire to spoil them for the community, if they descend into violence we absolutely will step in.

“A number of calls were received last night from concerned members of the public and while we appreciate this is a time of excitement and celebration for some, the sight and sound of such a large group was concerning and even distressing for others.

“That this size of gathering has taken place during a pandemic is concerning. I remind all of our communities to respect each other and ensure that the government guidelines around social distancing are followed.

“Following a work day of protecting the public, one of my officers has had to return home to his family with a head injury. This is beyond unacceptable and I would like to be very clear that anyone assaulting an officer in the course of his or her duty will be arrested and placed before the courts.”

As is standard, the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards has been notified.

Cllr Linda Hugget, leader of the Redbridge Conservative group, said: “There is no excuse for this behaviour on our streets.

“I am not only concerned about the violence and attack on our police but also very worried about the lack of social distancing. Whilst the number of Covid-19 positives remains fairly low in Redbridge, we are the 12th highest on the list of Covid-19 cases in London and we must ensure that there will be no spike which could result in a lockdown.

“I would ask everyone to celebrate Eid in a responsible way and show consideration to all residents. Redbridge businesses and our residents cannot afford another lockdown.”

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