Re­port re­veals may­hem near to marathon


Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by QASIM PERACHA qasim.peracha@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @qasim­per­acha

AS many as 800 young peo­ple crowded a cen­tral city street dur­ing the Lon­don Marathon, drink­ing al­co­hol and in­hal­ing ni­trous ox­ide, ac­cord­ing to a new police re­port.

A pram was tipped over amid the melee, de­tails of which have emerged as au­thor­i­ties plot how to pre­vent a re­peat of the in­ci­dent.

The new re­port re­veals police recorded an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour by up to 800 youths in the By­ward Street area on April 22 dur­ing the marathon, ad­ja­cent to the Tower of Lon­don leg of the route.

The re­port on the in­ci­dent was pro­vided to the City of Lon­don Cor­po­ra­tion pub­lic safety com­mit­tee on Thurs­day May 31.

City of Lon­don Police’s Su­per­in­ten­dent Lee Pres­land told the com­mit­tee he ran this year’s marathon and had no­ticed a change in the at­mos­phere.

He said: “You ac­tu­ally picked up a dif­fer­ent vibe at that point, some quite nasty com­ments, which is not per­fect.”

The crowds had no in­ter­est in the ac­tual marathon, he said. The re­port said the in­ci­dent re­sulted in four ar­rests for as­sault, and ex­tra of­fi­cers had to be sent to the area to dis­perse the crowd.

Of­fi­cers were able to use a power to di­rect peo­ple to leave a pub­lic area and not re­turn for up to 48 hours, but it proved dif­fi­cult to en­force.

City busi­nesss rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bob Ben­ton said he had no­ticed the state of the area, around Fenchurch Street sta­tion, fol­low­ing the marathon.

“It looked like a riot had come through,” he said.

He had seen small sil­ver con­tain­ers lit­tered around out­side the sta­tion the day af­ter the event.

“What that’s got to do with peo­ple run­ning from the marathon I’m not quite sure,” he said.

The con­tents of the small sil­ver bul­let-shaped ni­trous ox­ide con­tain­ers are meant for use as whipped cream charg­ers and emit the same kind of laugh­ing gas den­tists use as a seda­tive.

When used recre­ation­ally, they are known as “NOS” or “nangs,” and the gas is usu­ally for a fleet­ing high.

The re­port came out amid a fo­cus on youth crime in the cap­i­tal, where police are deal­ing with a rise in knife crime and homi­cides.

The re­port also noted mul­ti­ple City au­thor­i­ties were work­ing with police to man­age a “steep” in­crease in young peo­ple cy­cling in large num­bers at the week­ends, around Cas­tle Bay­nard Street and Tower Place, a short walk away from the marathon in­ci­dent.

Re­ports to police men­tioned the young peo­ple be­ing ag­gres­sive, throw­ing bot­tles and be­ing in­tim­i­dat­ing and, in one case, as­sault­ing a pizza de­liv­ery driver.

The re­port sug­gested that a pub­lic space pro­tec­tion or­der be­ing put in place ahead of the marathon would have made it eas­ier for police to en­force or­der.

The City’s com­mu­nity safety team plans to work with police and Tower Ham­lets au­thor­i­ties to take steps to avoid a re­cur­rence at the next event.


The trou­ble oc­curred close to Tower Bridge

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