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London funfair: Seven arrests after huge mob of 'idiot' teenagers storm bank holiday fair
13 April 2022, 10:59 | Updated: 13 April 2022, 11:40
Seven arrests were made after a large crowd of youths stormed a bank holiday funfair in south London.
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Parents were urged to keep their children at home "for their own safety" after large-scale disorder at Blackheath funfair on Tuesday. Footage shared online showed a huge crowd of youths running amok on the common, and a heavy police response, with riot vans and officers forced to create a human barrier to disperse the crowd.
Police said they were called at 4.20pm after reports of "antisocial behaviour and a number of assaults" at Greenwich Park.
Officers put up a cordon and dispersed the crowd by around 6.15pm. A large group are thought to have arranged to meet at the funfair site. using social media app TikTok, before the chaotic scenes erupted.
Scotland Yard said: "Seven people have been arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and related offences."
Police said despite earlier reports of a stabbing, no victim was found so officers were confident none had taken place.
The fair will reopen at 1pm on Wednesday.
The organisers said that, whilst the police had concluded the incidents were not "instigated by the presence of the fair", additional security will be in place when it reopens as a precaution.
They added that teenagers would only be allowed in if they were accompanied by an adult.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich Twitter account urged all parents to make sure their children are "nowhere near the area, for their own safety".
One Facebook user, who said she was at the fair, said: "It was quite scary the amount of young kids in groups following the security guard then running from one end to the other when the police turned up.
"Little kids were around and it's lucky they were not knocked over."
Others branded the behaviour "disgusting", with one person saying: "Shame on these idiots [spoiling] it for the rest."
The organisers have also been flooded with online support.
"So glad your (sic) reopening & not letting what happened yesterday put you off," wrote one Facebook user.
"I've come to your fair for many years & really love it."
Blackheath fair organiser Joe Noyce said: "I'd like to thank the police for their swift action in dealing with the large group of youths seeking to cause disruption and unrest in this area of Blackheath Common.
"As a family business ourselves, we want to ensure families coming to our fair feels safe, so we have enlisted additional onsite security, and are grateful by police reassurances of additional patrols in the local area."
Update Both the council and the police have advised us to resume normal operations from 1pm Wednesday. The incidents...Posted by Blackheath bank holiday fun fair on Tuesday, April 12, 2022
The Met police said in a statement: "Police were called at about 16:20hrs on Tuesday, 12 April following reports of antisocial behaviour and a number of assaults at Greenwich Park.
"A stabbing has also been reported; following a thorough search of the area no victim was found.
"Officers are therefore content that no stabbing took place.
"A number of police resources were sent to the scene and a cordon was put in place to help disperse the large number of people in attendance. By about 18:15hrs the area had been cleared.
"A section 60 was authorised and was in place until 07:00hrs on Wednesday, 13 April.
"Seven people have been arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and related offences."