A waterfight in London’s Hyde Park on the hottest day of the year exploded into violence after three people - including a police officer - were stabbed, the Metropolitan Police said.
Five officers in total were injured as temperatures soared above 32C in the capital and hundreds of people gathered for what the force described as a “spontaneous ‘water fight’” close to the iconic Serpentine lake.
But an “increasingly large crowd” became “hostile” to police, and bottles and missiles were thrown.
One officer was knifed and another was struck with a bottle. Both officers have been taken to hospital with injuries described as not life threatening.
Two others were stabbed. They were also taken to hospital but their conditions are unknown.
The scenes were recorded by journalist Vinnie O’Dowd.
Others collectively tracked the change in mood.
Commander BJ Harrington, from Scotland Yard said:
“Our officers took action to step in and protect the public and themselves after the crowd attempted to set up a sound system. Concerned for the potential safety implications officers stepped in to negotiate with them. At that stage our officers came under attack, resulting in one suffering stab wounds and another who suffered a head injury. In total five officers were injured.
“Officers were mobilised as part of a graduated response to encourage the crowds to leave the park. Part of that involved using the powers available to us under the Public Order Act and the Anti-social Behaviour and Crime Act, and that’s when we deployed in riot gear. The action taken was based on serious concerns for the public and our officers. At least three members of the public were injured in the park.
“We are now running a post event investigation - I know that there is a lot of footage available, including helicopter footage and CCTV. If you have any footage that may help, or any information, then please get in touch with us.
“What took place wasn’t a group of people out enjoying the sunshine, but crime and disorder which is quite simply unacceptable. Officers are out and about on duty today and we want everyone in London to have a safe and enjoyable day.
“If people are going to go along to unlicensed or spontaneous events then please think very carefully, they are simply not safe. You do not have the protection of attending a well organised and safe event. Parents and guardians are urged to think carefully about whether these sorts of events are where you want you children to go.”
Police said to give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or at.