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Public Disorder (Newham)

Volume 79: debated on Wednesday 22 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis concerning incidents of public disorder which occurred in Newham, east London on Saturday 11 May, detailing the cause and nature of the disturbance, the number of persons involved, the number of persons arrested, whether there were any injuries and the ethnic breakdown of the persons involved; and if he will make a statement on the substance of the report.

I understand from the commissioner that these incidents of public disorder occurred during a march and rally held by the Newham 7 Defence Campaign and others, in which some 1,500 people of various ethnic backgrounds took part. The mood of the marchers initially was good but scuffles later broke out and some arrests were made. As the demonstrators assembled for a short rally in Plashet park, missiles including stones, bottles and smoke canisters were thrown at the police, who used shields to protect themselves. After the crowd in the park was dispersed, some demonstrators remained in nearby streets and bricks were thrown at a police vehicle, but eventually all the demonstrators dispersed. During the afternoon 15 police officers sustained minor injuries and one demonstrator, who had been struck on the head by a brick, was taken to hospital. Fifteen people were arrested of whom three were white, nine black and three of Asian origin.