ELEVEN people have been arrested after a brawl broke out at Westfield in Stratford between knife-wielding “rival” gangs, The Sun reports. Dramatic footage posted on social media showed cops confronting the hooded youths as they clashed at the shopping centre yesterday.
The Met Police confirmed 11 people had been arrested for a range of different offences. They also tweeted out a photo of two knives that were recovered after the brawl yesterday.
A spokesman said: “Police were called at 14.34hrs on Tuesday, 26 December to reports of disturbances at Westfield Stratford City in Montfichet Rd, Stratford. “Officers attended and additional high-visibility patrols were deployed, and groups causing the disorder were dispersed.
“A total of 11 people were arrested for a variety of offences, and two knives were recovered. “Two police officers have received hospital treatment for minor injuries. “A Section 60 order was in place until 22:30hrs.”
Terrified shoppers fled in panic as cops stormed the East London shopping centre yesterday after the brawl erupted just after 2.30pm. Video footage shows the youths – apparently made up of separate rival groups – shouting in the officers’ faces as they are forced backwards inside the lobby.
Social media users who were inside have spoken of their fear after watching children being “trampled on” during the “terrifying experience”.
One Twitter user said: “Not entirely sure what happened at Westfield, whether it was a prank or gang fight but all I know is that was the most terrifying experience of my life.
“All I saw was a stampede of screaming people coming towards me and poor kids being trampled on. “Not f*****g cool at all.”
Others suggested the disturbance had been the result of a “gang fight”. They wrote: “Please avoid Westfield Stratford shopping centre big chaos going on because of gang fight.”
Meanwhile others shared pictures showing shoppers waiting outside in the cold and warning people they weren’t being allowed in. One said: “Westfield Stratford shambles …queues to get into the shopping centre…no shoppers allowed.”
Another tweeted: “Robberies, police, fights, hours of queues for a few pounds off”. Westfield Stratford described the incident as a “minor disturbance” and said that the centre was not evacuated and continued trading normally.
The Met Police told the Sun Online that officers had responded to reports of “gunshots” which later turned out to be false.