Shocking video has shown police wielding batons clashing with dozens of youths in London’s Oxford Street this afternoon after chaos erupted when a social media-fuelled campaign to ‘rob JD Sports’ and shoplift went viral.
Nine people have been arrested by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of offences including assaulting a police officer, going equipped to steal and breaching a dispersal order at the shopping hotspot today.
Footage from the scene shows officers chasing after youths outside the Microsoft store in Europe’s busiest shopping street with their batons raised, with some being wrestled away by police and put in handcuffs.
Videos from earlier in the day showed cops simultaneously grappling with two youths, slamming one to the floor and pinning the other to the wall by McDonald’s. A third was later witnessed fleeing behind JD Sports before being detained. In dramatic scenes one cop appeared to be punched in the face by one youth.
Today’s chaos was triggered following a widely shared post over social media calling on thugs to ‘rob’ JD sports and other stores this afternoon. A poster plugging the carnage urged yobs to follow a ‘dress code’ of balaclavas and gloves. ‘Don’t come if you can’t run,’ it said before warning: ‘Don’t bring any weapons.’
A dispersal order has been put in place from 11am on Tuesday to 10am on Thursday, giving police the power to ban people from the area for 48 hours. Anyone who does not comply can be arrested.
The two males caught on film being detained were done so for breaching the dispersal order. A third boy, believed to be in his early teens, was chased down Oxford Street and attempted to hide behind scaffolding attached to the Uniqlo store opposite JD Sports.
He was also given a dispersal order.
The Met’s City of Westminster Police Twitter account said that officers had ‘responded to a disturbance from within the group of people outside the Microsoft store and not a report of people looting,’ adding that there was ‘no report of people attempting to enter the store’.
In a statement, the force said: ‘Throughout Wednesday, August 9, officers maintained a high visibility presence within the Oxford Street area.
‘As of 8.15pm officers have issued 34 people with dispersal orders and made nine arrests.
‘Four people were arrested on suspicion of breaching the dispersal order, one person was arrested on suspicion of going equipped to steal, one person arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and one person was arrested on susicion of a public order offence.
‘Earlier in the afternoon officers arrested two people in Essex for conspiracy to commit robbery following online social media posts.’
Earlier in the day a spokesperson for the force said: ‘We continue to have a highly visible presence in the Oxford Street area.
‘We will deal robustly with anyone coming to the West End intent on committing crime.’
In a separate video, infamous TikTokker Mizzy – whose previous ‘pranks’ have seen him and his followers invading people’s homes and causing mayhem in Oxford Street’s Primark store – was also filmed being stopped by police.
Sporting bright purple hair, it is unclear if the shirtless 18-year-old – whose real name is Bacari-Bronze O’Garro – was taking part in the ‘mass shoplifting event’. But he was turned away from the area by officers.
MailOnline understands security staff were bracing themselves for ‘widespread disorder’ amid fears the incident could descend into chaos, in a repeat of scenes from August last year which saw gangs of youths vandalising shops and a Ferrari, and even assaulting police officers.