Three people were taken to hospital after a gang stabbing on the streets of London this morning – as people across Britain refused to stick to the ‘stay at home’ New Year rules.
The knife attack was the worst of several incidents of disorder, which also saw anti-lockdown protesters clash with police in London and illegal ravers pack into a pub in Essex.
The condition of two men stabbed in London – and a woman found nearby with head injuries – was not known this morning.
Trouble flared minutes after midnight as rival gangs squared up to each other on Edgware Road, near Marble Arch in the capital’s West End, as an illegal rave spilled onto the streets.
Two people were taken to hospital with stab wounds after two gangs allegedly clashed on Edgware Road, central London, just after midnight on New Year’s Day
Police said they were called to the scene by the London Fire Service after reports of a stabbing
It is alleged that an illegal rave was taking place in a building on Edgware Road and that as many as 60 or 70 alleged gang members had spilled out onto the street
In the aftermath of the disturbances, a photographer working for MailOnline was knocked unconscious while taking pictures near police officers yards from the homes of the rich and famous including Tony Blair and Claudia Winkleman.
As he recovered, he told MailOnline: ‘We got there and there were lots of armed police. Big armed police cars were zooming past us – we counted 11. There must be 100-and-something police there at least, a lot of them heavily armed.’
He said as he worked, a man approached him and punched him.
‘As I hit the floor, six or seven officers rushed to me and then apparently six or seven more caught the guy who did it,’ he said. ‘He was arrested on the scene.’
Two men were taken to hospital by emergency services to be treated for their stab wounds
A woman was also found at the scene by emergency services suffering from a head injury
The experienced photojournalist said he counted around 60 or 70 suspected gang members present on the street after the initial stabbings had taken place.
Police said they were called by colleagues in the London Fire Brigade to reports of a stabbing on Edgware Road.
A spokesman said: ‘Officers attended the scene, with the London Ambulance Service and [the air ambulance]. Two males were identified with stab injuries. Both men were taken to hospital.
‘A woman was also located at the scene suffering with a head injury, she has been taken to hospital.’ He added: ‘One woman has been arrested for GBH and taken to a police station.’
A police spokesperson confirmed that one woman had been arrested by officers for Grievous Bodily Harm
Police were called out to Edgware Road around 00.32am this morning after reports of a stabbing
The stabbings came as rule-breakers defied instructions to stay home on New Year’s Eve and headed out on to the streets.
Piers Corbyn, the anti-lockdown activist brother of former Labour leader Jeremy, railed against the restrictions on a march along London’s south bank.
Pictures show the 73-year-old being held back by supporters as he faces down officers during the protest.
Dozens of people congregated outside County Hall, where Mr Corbyn addressed the demonstration through a megaphone.
Meanwhile others pressed ahead with party plans and flouted rules by toasting in 2021 with a large group of friends.
A photographer working for MailOnline, who was knocked out by a man while taking pictures of the incident, claims that hundreds of officers were dealing with the incident, ‘a lot of them heavily armed’
Social media footage purportedly from Chingford, east London, shows at least 30 revellers packed into a venue decorated with balloons and blaring loud music.
The booze-fuelled event saw guests cram together on a dance floor with Champagne flutes.
People scolded the alleged flouting. ‘Shameful,’ said one. ‘Prime example of how to spread Covid,’ said another.
Police also had their hands full overnight with another incident in the capital after hundreds defied Government advice to stay home on New Year’s Eve and attended an anti-lockdown protest
Police officers detain a man at the anti-lockdown protest on the South Bank, London, during the night
Piers Corbyn (pictured middle), the anti-lockdown activist brother of former Labour leader Jeremy, railed against the restrictions on a march along London’s south bank
Pictures show the 73-year-old being held back by supporters as he faces down officers during the protest
Dozens of people congregated outside County Hall, where Mr Corbyn addressed the demonstration through a megaphone
Most public places typically brimming with crowds lay eerily deserted – and usual hotspots such as Trafalgar Square were even boarded up to prevent people congregating.
But in Leeds, some braved the cold weather and were pictured on the streets clutching bottles of wine and crates of beer.
Piers Corbyn, brother of former Labour leader Jeremy, speaks to a crowd at an anti-lockdown protest in the capital overnight
Police on horses were seen patrolling the streets of London during the night to ensure people followed Tier 4 rules
Ahead of last night, police chiefs warned they would be prepared to take action against rule-breakers.
Scotland Yard tweeted: ‘We are at a critical point in this pandemic. We would urge everyone to celebrate the New Year in the comfort of their own homes. If people insist on gathering and breaching regulations, then officers will shut them down and enforcement action will be taken.’
The maximum fine for breaking coronavirus restrictions is £10,000 for the most egregious breaches.