Fireworks launched at people like rockets on London street

Video footage shows police chasing crowds of youths as explosives set off in two separate incidents

Chiara Giordano
Monday 01 November 2021 10:03
<p>Fireworks were launched down busy Stamford Hill in north London on Halloween</p>

Fireworks were launched down busy Stamford Hill in north London on Halloween

Videos have emerged of fireworks being launched at cars and passers-by as Halloween celebrations descended into chaos in the capital.

Footage circulating on Twitter appears to show one explosive narrowly missing a pedestrian on a pavement in Stamford Hill, north London, while others watch on from a bus stop on the opposite side of the road.

One motorist is forced to brake suddenly as a firework shoots in front of their car, while others can be seen carefully manoeuvring down the busy road as smoke fills the air.

Another clip shows police clashing with large crowds of youngsters in Woolwich, southeast London.

People can be heard screaming as fireworks explode nearby, while uniformed officers can be seen chasing crowds down the street in the same clip.

The anti-social behaviour, which is becoming an annual occurrence across the country, last year led to a police chief calling for a rethink of the rules surrounding the sale of fireworks.

It came after incidents involving police officers and firefighters being surrounded and attacked by people using fireworks in recent years.

Firefighters in Merseyside, Tyne and Wear, Scotland, Wales, Northumberland, Staffordshire, West Midlands and Humberside were among those to report attacks on Bonfire Night last year.

On what is the busiest night of the year for many services, fire crews endured being pelted with fireworks, stones and bricks, the National Fire Chiefs Council said.

One incident in Hull on November 5 last year left two houses burning after a firework was thrown through a letterbox.

One firework narrowly missed a pedestrian after being launched on Stamford Hill, north London

Though all people living in the properties escaped, with only one man needing treatment for smoke inhalation, a dog and two cats were killed in the fire.

In August 2019, two officers in a marked police car in Ashton-under-Lyne were surrounded by about 30 youths who shouted abuse at them and threw fireworks at their vehicle.

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, last year said the current legislation surrounding the sale of fireworks was “not fit for purpose” as he called for a “comprehensive and urgent review”, including of the availability of over-the-counter explosives.

He said at the time: “This violent behaviour towards emergency service workers, who are doing their jobs and helping people in need, is totally unacceptable. There must be harsher punishments to send a clear and unequivocal message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”

The Independent has contacted the Metropolitan Police for comment.

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