The huge fight involving 200 people near Barking Town Centre on Tuesday (1 March) was a pre-planned brawl, Met Police detectives believe. A cache of deadly weapons including baseball bats, knives and a wooden pole with nails driven through it to make it a homemade mace were seized after violence erupted in east London.
It started at approximately 3.25pm near Barking Abbey School at Sandringham Road, where two males were eventually detained, and police were still making arrests two hours later. One man had acid thrown in his face and 21 people were arrested in total as fighting spread throughout the town. The violence was described as the worst outbreak since the 2011 London riots.
IBTimes UK has since learned the battle was organised and that seven people have been charged in relation to the incident. Video footage shows tensions rising outside McDonalds in Barking.
A Met Police spokesperson said officers were called to reports of more than 200 people fighting in the streets "in and around Barking Town Centre. Several police officers were injured in the melee as groups of youths fought each other, some armed with knives, poles and modified weapons."
Barking's Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor said: "In terms of the numbers involved this is the most significant incident we have had to deal with since the riots in 2011, but we have the resources to deal with it."