Outnumbered police call for reinforcements as ‘hostile’ crowd of 500 turns violent outside downtown club
Police were ambushed by hostile revelers outside a club in Leicester city centre. Officers described the violence they faced as “unmanageable” and a number of people were injured.
Officers from across the county were called to help their colleagues deal with the crowds on Gravel Street shortly before 3.30am Thursday. They said the disorder began when up to 2,000 people escaped from a location – which officers have not named at this stage – at closing time.
Fights then broke out among the crowd, according to the Leicestershire Police report and some of those present became hostile towards the officers, who quickly outnumbered them.
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A team from the force’s canine section, who were among those called, posted on social media this morning: “Officers who were outnumbered and shouting – [the police term for an emergency call-out] – for help, I saw colleagues from all over the county responding. Our traffic teams, our firearms teams and [police dog] Lola.
“The nightclub which had held an event with over 2,000 people in attendance closed at 4am and a large crowd spilled onto the street. Fights broke out and a large crowd of at least 500 people became hostile towards the small number of officers present.
“On their way to the scene, the crowd surrounded and rammed police vehicles, openly hostile to the officers. Lola was deployed alongside her colleagues and the tactics of a dog in these situations came into their own.
“Pulling back the crowd, clearing a safe working space for his colleagues to tend to the injured and giving them a ‘reactionary gap’ from such a large and hostile number. The presence of a dog was invaluable and the response immediate and “desirable” mass was apparent.
“We would like to say a big shout out to those who stood their ground when initially faced with an unmanageable situation. Thank you to the gate staff who demonstrated their professionalism and willingness to support these officers and the brilliant response from the officers from Leicestershire from the four corners who responded to the call for help.”
In a statement, Leicestershire Police confirmed a number of people were injured, but none were serious. They said: ‘Officers were called at 3.26am yesterday (Thursday) to a report of a public disorder in Gravel Street, Leicester. A large crowd had gathered in the area and a number of fights were reported.
“Officers attended the scene. A police dog was also brought to the scene and officers were able to disperse the crowd. No serious injuries were reported. An investigation is currently underway to establish the full circumstances of the the incident.”