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Police officer injured in Ilford during fight following Eid celebrations

The incident happened late last night

A police officer has suffered a head injury following a fight in Ilford, as people gathered to celebrate Eid.

Officers had been trying to disperse a large number of people who were in Ilford Lane at around 11.30pm last night.

Footage shared on social media shows people congregating in the road, with vehicles struggling to pass through.

But as people began to leave, a fight broke out near Rutland Road.

Police say a male was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and assaulting emergency worker.

En route to custody, the arrested male became unwell and was taken to hospital as a precaution. His injuries are not believed to be serious.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman 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 workday 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.”

The Leader of Redbridge Council, Jas Athwal, said: “We want people to enjoy the summertime and especially times of celebration both safely and peacefully. We certainly don’t want to see a repeat of the scenes that marred Ilford Lane last night.

“We’re still in the middle of a global pandemic, and people must be mindful of that. Gathering in large groups is not safe for individuals, their friends or their family members who they may end up inadvertently infecting with the virus.

“Sadly, rates of COVID-19 has increased in several areas in the north of England. We want to keep local people safe and prevent that happening in Redbridge. We all need to play our part to keep ourselves and our friends and neighbours safe, so please maintain social distancing (keep 2 metres apart), wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and wear a face-covering if you’re in shops, on public transport, or in a confined space.

“If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, please stay at home and get tested as soon as possible and follow the instructions of NHS Test and Trace if they contact you.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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