East Croydon illegal rave leads to injuries and arrests

East Croydon Image copyright Vicky Stewart
Image caption Crowds gathered outside the disused sorting office

Four people were taken to hospital and nine others arrested at an illegal rave attended by more than 1,000 people in south London.

The window of a police van was smashed and missiles thrown at officers during the party at a disused building on Cherry Orchard Road, in East Croydon.

More than 1,000 people were gathered outside the venue and up to 300 partygoers were estimated to be inside.

Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, said the disruption was "unacceptable".

Further arrests

Officers on routine patrol noticed large numbers of people going towards the unlicensed party at about 21:40 BST on Saturday.

They called for additional help and cordoned off the area to stop "dangerously large numbers of people" from getting in, but the some in the crowd became violent, the police said.

Two people were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and are being held at a south London police station.

Image caption Officers entered the building at 08:30 BST

Seven others were also arrested in connection with violent disorder, drugs offences and money laundering.

The Met Police said they expected to make further arrests "as a result of evidence gathered during the police operation overnight and at the scene".

One person with head injuries and another person suffering a hand injury were taken to a south London hospital.

Inspector Dave Sutton, from Croydon Police, said: "Although the decision was taken to allow the event to continue while preventing further large numbers of people from gaining entry, police in Croydon will not tolerate violent disorder in any form."

Jerome, who did not want to give his full name but went to the rave, said: "It was chaos, people were screaming and throwing things out of the windows."

'Safety risk'

Two other people were also taken to hospital for treatment after becoming unwell.

London Ambulance also attended the incident and paramedics treated seven people at the scene.

Police said officers entered the building at 08:30 BST.

Mr Barwell said the party posed a safety risk as he believed there was only one entrance and exit.

"It is clearly unacceptable to have a situation where people are allowed to occupy a building, disrupt the whole public transport system and keep a lot of the people that live in the area up all night," the Conservative MP said.

Image caption Road closures were in place and tram services were disrupted

"I'm all for people having a good time but it has to be in a safe environment."

Tram services at East Croydon station were disrupted by the incident and road closures have been in place.

Croydon Council leader Tony Newman said a clear-up operation was under way to make the building safe.

"I would like to reassure residents the illegal rave which took place in Croydon overnight has been contained, and thanks to the efforts of the police there were no serious injuries to contend with," he said.

He added the council was discussing responsibility for security of the site with Royal Mail.

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