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Video: Youths carrying weapons fight in Barking town centre

PUBLISHED: 16:31 03 March 2016 | UPDATED: 14:40 04 March 2016

Police try to calm the situation

Police try to calm the situation

Archant

This dramatic footage shows police officers pulling apart brawling youths in the town centre. `

Seven people have now been charged in connection with the incident in East Street, Barking, on Tuesday night which borough commander Sultan Taylor has described as the biggest since the 2011 London riots.

Bizarrely, a woman can be seen attempting to push her pram past the scuffle outside McDonald’s before stopping to watch.

Knives, baseball bats, acid and wood containing nails were all seized from youngsters aged in their late teens through to their early 20s.

Police are investigating the possibility that it could have been an organised clash.

Fighting broke out close to Barking Abbey School at about 3.30pm with violence continuing into the town centre, flaring up again at about 5.30pm outside shops in East Street. Crowds didn’t fully disperse until three hours later.

Two police officers were injured, although both returned to work yesterday.

Speaking to the Post this afternoon, Chief Supt Taylor played down the incident.

He praised officers for working quickly to secure the area and keep the public safe.

There was an increased police presence in the town centre yesterday night to help reassure residents.

“We have had a lot of positive feedback from the community,” Chief Supt Taylor said.

“We are working in partnership with the council and schools to prevent any further incidents.”

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