Nine people have been arrested following a mammoth rave in a disused post office last night, on which hundreds of revellers descended.
East Croydon became a miniature festival site after the abandoned sorting office was utilised as the perfect party venue, with as many as 1,000 people attending.
Officers were called to the scene on Cherry Orchard Road at 9.40pm - an hour before England’s inaugural World Cup kick-off - with it now declared a crime scene.
Following police intervention the atmosphere became violent, the Met says, with missiles thrown at officers and a police vehicle smashed.
Omg. Just got dropped off in East Croydon and police just broke up a massive illegal rave in The post office!?! pic.twitter.com/abdI9g8ZIr; Lianna Brinded (@LiannaBrinded) June 14, 2014
Illegal rave, riot squad vs ravers, sick night doing nos and dancing all night haha a night to remember! pic.twitter.com/Ae1lTNQ0sJ
; phoebe (@phoebegostling) June 15, 2014
Well it's all going on at East Croydon! Police cordons and crowds of ravers. pic.twitter.com/gaWNfD8elP; Vicky Stewart (@vickystew) June 14, 2014
Two people were arrested for violent disorder, while seven further arrests relate to charges including drug offences and money laundering.
A cordon was set-up around the rave to stem a “dangerously large number” of people attempting to enter the site, as well as an increased police presence in surrounding areas to limit further disturbances.
The party wasn’t halted completely – instead, police said it entered the building at 8.30am this morning.
"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,” inspector Dave Sutton of Croydon police said.
Four people were taken to hospital with illness, head injuries and an injured hand.
We wanted to get home from East Croydon. These were legging it from the illegal post office rave in east Croydon pic.twitter.com/ne90CHyZ9J; Lianna Brinded (@LiannaBrinded) June 14, 2014
East Croydon loool pic.twitter.com/lYheiUsFhW; F (@fxhim) June 14, 2014
Inspector Sutton added: "Anyone involved in the supply of illegal drugs, or who put themselves, police officers and members of the public in danger through acts of violence or criminal damage, should be aware that an extensive investigation has begun to identify, arrest and bring before the courts those who committed offences."
A number of pictures on social media show the size of the guestlist, with dozens of partygoers standing around on the street or running from police, while one Twitter user described it as “a night to remember.”
Another user posted a picture of the crowds with the caption: "Dear parents of London, your precious daughter is not at a 'sleepover'."
The MP for Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell, told the BBC he is “all for people having a good time but it has to be in a safe environment.”
“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.”