Neighbours scared to leave homes as Dagenham house party becomes ‘a riot’
PUBLISHED: 10:40 24 June 2015 | UPDATED: 10:40 24 June 2015
A crowd of up to 300 youngsters, some carrying knives and throwing bottles, left residents of a normally-quiet road scared to leave their homes after a 16th birthday party got out of control.
Police were called to a terraced house in Oxlow Lane, Dagenham, at about 11pm on Saturday and recovered three large knives, scissors and a quantity of cannabis from what was described as a “very large and unpredictable crowd”.
Two teenagers were arrested at the party which attracted gatecrashers after it was advertised on Facebook. Some witnesses likened the scene to “a riot”.
“It was horrendous,” said Neighbourhood Watch member and retired cleaning director Mick McCarthy, 75, who lives opposite.
“There were probably about 60 people at the start but it just got bigger and bigger and bigger.
“Buses couldn’t get past, cars had to swerve over to the other side of the road. If the police hadn’t come anything could have happened. You hear about these things in other towns but never expect it to happen in your own town.”
Special educational needs teaching assistant Angela Lewis-Campbell, 42, lives a few doors down from the party and found a long red-handled knife under her car the following day.
“There were way too many people for the police officers to handle,” she said. “If it hadn’t been for the dogs, one of the police would have been seriously hurt – definitely.
“I heard one tall youth in the street actually shout ‘someone’s going to die tonight.’ It was like a riot, completely out of control.”
Police dispersed the crowd, shepherding them back towards Robinson Road and Marston Avenue.
Insp Jason O’Donohue, from Barking and Dagenham police, said: “By getting these knives off the street when they did, my officers have helped save lives and prevent another needless tragedy.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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