More that 100 police officers were forced to shut off an entire street in East London as 200 out of control youths brawled in broad daylight. The warring teenagers, one brandishing a baseball bat, were mainly women purportedly fighting over boys.
Two people were arrested following the incident, which some described as a “riot,” at 5pm last night outside Walthamstow Central tube station in East London.
The hashtag #walthamstowriot was trending on twitter. Many on social media speculated that the girls – from Sir George Monoux College and Leyton Sixth Form College – were fighting over a boy.
— Mr A1 (@A1Pabs) October 6, 2015
The girls kicked and punched each other to the ground, tearing out chunks of hair, as a huge crowd jeered them on. The police stormed the street to break up the melee.
Samee Ullah, co-owner of Director’s Cut on the High Street, told The Waltham Forest Guardian: “I looked out and I saw hundreds of kids shouting and screaming, they were coming from the Hoe Street end. It looked like someone had gone into Nandos and they were waiting for them to come out.
“They brought the whole street to a standstill.
“We asked some of them and they said it was ‘college fights’. To be honest people have been talking about riots but it wasn’t exactly that. ‘
“There was a mix of kids – all ethnicities – and they weren’t all being aggressive.
“We thought about pulling the shutters and the police told us to stay inside before they cordoned off the end of the road.”
Resident Joe Ward, chairman of the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee was on scene shortly after the incident. He said: “There was a massive police presence; they were explaining to everyone that there was an incident with youths.
“McDonalds was closed and the traffic was really badly affected. There were a number of children in school uniforms. If any of them were involved the schools need to take some responsibility.”
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said two people had been arrested following the brawl. In a statement, he said: “Shortly after 5pm today police were called to reports of a large group of youths causing a disturbance in the Hoe Street / Station Approach area of Walthamstow.
“Officers from Waltham Forest Borough and the Territorial Support group (TSG) attended the scene. The group then began to disperse. There are no reports of any persons with injuries at this time.
“Two arrests have been made and enquiries into the circumstances of the incident will be made by Waltham Forest Borough officers.”