Moment hundreds of people break through barriers to see New Year’s fireworks in London

There were scenes of chaos across the country last night as revellers out celebrating NYE stormed London’s firework display, held an illegal rave in a woodland and mowed down police officers, with a mass brawl breaking out in Piccadilly Circus.

Videos from the scene in central London show swathes of people running through to the fireworks event on the banks of the Thames as they pushed through barriers, with police drawing batons in Westminster to manage the crowd.

Police officers could be seen trying to stop people from making their way past, as they ran cheering into the Mayor of London’s firework display.

From around 11.15pm until midnight there were a number of incidents, including on Westminster Bridge, where groups of people without tickets forced their way past hoardings and fencing.

A crowd makes their way into the event

In Westminster, crowds surged past the fences for the fireworks event

Crowds in Westminster made their way into the event space to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks

Crowds in Westminster made their way into the event space to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks

People pushed through the barriers to the city centre's fireworks display on Saturday night Crowds made their way through a gap in the fence

People pushed through the barriers to the city centre’s fireworks display on Saturday night

Hordes of people ran into the event grounds as they got through an opening in the fencing

Hordes of people ran into the event grounds as they got through an opening in the fencing

Elsewhere, barriers were knocked down as people tried to enter the capital city event

Elsewhere, barriers were knocked down as people tried to enter the capital city event

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People ran into the sold-out London event at multiple points across the city

Security staff looked on as people ran down the street on New Year's Eve for the fireworks

Security staff looked on as people ran down the street on New Year’s Eve for the fireworks

Children could be seen running away from the area as a man snatched a crutch from the grip of another shouting man

Children could be seen running away from the area as a man snatched a crutch from the grip of another shouting man

Gates opened at 8pm for the sold out all-ticketed event and there were no reports of any significant incidents for the first three hours. 

The Met said in a statement: ‘Officers worked quickly in challenging circumstances to support stewards in an effort to prevent crowds getting into the ticketed area and to maintain the safety and security of those already inside.

‘At the junction of Storey’s Gate and Victoria Street, they had to draw their batons when a small but determined group who had pushed down fence panels in an attempt to get in became aggressive towards stewards and officers. 

‘A small number of people were treated for minor injuries.’ 

Elsewhere in the city, a group of men clashed in central London in front of terrified families with children during Saturday night’s New Year’s eve celebrations.

Video from Piccadilly Circus shows a huge crowd watching on as men in dark clothing began smashing glass bottles and shouting as they pushed their way into the crowd.

One man could be seen smashing a glass bottle on a bin and appeared to wield the broken end as a weapon, while others threw them into the air, with glass shattering on the floor.

A huge crowd watching on as men in dark clothing began smashing glass bottles and shouting

A huge crowd watching on as men in dark clothing began smashing glass bottles and shouting

Onlookers filmed the brawl outside the Underground station entrance with their phones

Onlookers filmed the brawl outside the Underground station entrance with their phones

Some of the men were pushing and kicking one another, jostling among themselves as families moved out of the way

Some of the men were pushing and kicking one another, jostling among themselves as families moved out of the way

Children could be seen running away from the area as a man snatched a crutch from the grip of another shouting man. 

Others were pushing and kicking one another, jostling among themselves as families moved out of the way. 

All the while, onlookers filmed the brawl outside the Underground station entrance with their phones. 

As the violence calmed, five Metropolitan Police officers walked through the street as crowds continued to move around them. 

A spokesperson for the Met told MailOnline: ‘Officers were carrying out high visibility patrols across central London, including in the vicinity of Piccadilly Circus, throughout the night on New Year’s Eve.

‘We are aware of a video shared online showing a brief altercation between two groups during which some projectiles were thrown.

‘Officers can be seen arriving less than a minute later but those involved had already dispersed into the crowds.

‘We are not aware of any arrests specifically in relation to this incident.’ 

Across the capital, eight people were arrested on New Year’s Eve, including a 31-year-old man arrested for sexual assault.

He was wanted by the British Transport Police for five alleged indecent assaults against women and was arrested by officers during proactive patrols of the South Bank ahead of the New Year’s Eve event.

Men threw bottles into the air, with glass smashing on the floor as the brawl broke out

Men threw bottles into the air, with glass smashing on the floor as the brawl broke out

Crowds looked on as the brawl unravelled outside the Underground station entrance

Crowds looked on as the brawl unravelled outside the Underground station entrance

The force had a multi-agency policing and security operation was in place across the capital, as the city centre saw revellers return.

During the night, two people were arrested for drunk and disorderly behaviour, one was arrested for drink driving, and one person was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon.

Two people were arrested for assaulting an emergency worker, with one also arrested for handling stolen goods.

A final person was arrested for common assault and possession of cannabis.

The two officers who were assaulted sustained minor injuries and will receive the appropriate support. 

The night saw a combined effort by Met officers, emergency services partners, the Mayor of London’s office, Transport for London and the event management and stewarding teams. 

The force also worked with charity Safer Spaces to provide a place in Duncannon Street, central London that women and girls could go to if they felt unsafe. 

Volunteer Special Constables were on the streets along with thousands of officers in all 32 boroughs.

Elsewhere in the country, a New Year rave attended by around 200 people was  broken up by police today.

Avon and Somerset Police were called to Rowberrow Woods near Winscombe, Somerset, at about 12.25am on New Year’s Day.

Five Metropolitan Police officers walked through the street as crowds continued to move around them

Five Metropolitan Police officers walked through the street as crowds continued to move around them

Officers arrived on the scene at around 1am and found up to 200 people had gathered.

A police spokeswoman said: ‘One generator was shut down and officers prevented further access to the site.

‘The music was turned off by the organisers by 7.30am and officers are directing people to leave the site in accordance with a direction under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994.

‘We continue to ask people to avoid the area as there is congestion on local routes due to an estimated 150 vehicles trying to leave, with several having parked blocking lanes.’

In Bournemouth, Dorset, two police officers were injured when a grey Mercedes GLE Coupe ran them over at 5.25am on Sunday.

Dorset Police reported that they both suffered minor injuries and an investigation has been launched.

Officers attended and carried out searches of the area to locate the vehicle and enquiries remain ongoing.

Police Constable Mark Burton, of the traffic unit, said: ‘I would appeal to anyone who witnessed the incident, or the manner of driving of the vehicle involved, to please get in touch.

In Swansea, at least four people were arrested, with officers retaining the men and removing them from the scene

In Swansea, at least four people were arrested, with officers retaining the men and removing them from the scene

‘We believe the vehicle involved sustained damage to the driver side window and windscreen and I would ask anyone who has seen a Mercedes in the area matching the description given to contact Dorset Police.’

In Swansea, at least four people were arrested, with officers retaining the men and removing them from the scene.

Two men were stabbed outside a nightclub on Sunday morning in Nottingham, with police appealing for additional witnesses to come forward.

Officers were called to Mojo, in Thurland Street, Nottingham, at 4.16am this morning after two people were stabbed.

One victim, aged 24, sustained injuries to his chest and remains in a serious condition in hospital. The other, aged 18, was treated for a leg injury.

Detective Superintendent Hayley Williams, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: ‘This was a very serious assault that left two young men in hospital.

‘We are working hard to understand what happened in the moments before, during and after this incident and are asking for any remaining witnesses to come forward.

‘We would also like to speak to any taxi or bus drivers who may have may have noticed an injury to one of their passengers, or to anyone else who has noticed unexplained injures to someone they know or blood stains to their clothing.

‘Several police cordons are in place across the city centre in relation to this incident. Whilst we appreciate these may cause disruption to local businesses, it is essential imperative that we gather all available evidence about what happened in the early hours of this morning.’

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident 240 of 1 January 2023.  

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