‘Messy, blundering, inconsiderate’ - Hackney mayor slams police over Dalston op violence

There were several arrests in Dalston on Saturday (May 14) following a police operation in the area

There were several arrests in Dalston on Saturday (May 14) following a police operation in the area - Credit: Frankie Lister-Fell

The Metropolitan Police should admit mistakes over its “blundering” operation in Dalston that led to violence, Hackney’s mayor has said.  

Eight people have been charged after clashes in Ashwin Street and Kingsland Road on May 14 which began during a police operation designed to clamp down on moped and e-scooter crime. 

Footage appeared to show a police officer repeatedly hitting an individual in the head. 

A referral has been made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The force has denied the operation was targeting immigration-based offences and was instead aimed at clamping down on antisocial behaviour. They said nine officers were assaulted and that police vehicles were damaged. 

But mayor Philip Glanville has criticised the style of the operation which came at a time when he claimed “trust and confidence” in the police has eroded locally following “violence against girls” cases, the Child Q incident and “institutional racism dating back to the 80s”. 

He told the Gazette: “We have been doing work over the past six months with the delivery companies, drivers and restaurants to improve the situation in Ashwin Street to make sure that vulnerable workers are protected about how they make their living and that it is a safe environment. 

“What upsets me most about the police operation is that it doesn’t seem to fit with borough tasking. There are blurred lines between immigration, mopeds, licences and snatch theft. 

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“All the things they (the police) have been saying since the incident are messy and inconsiderate.

“I know there is operational independence with the police but I think the better operation is not going into an area where there are already a set of issues on a Saturday night and not thinking about what you are doing.

Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville 

Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville - Credit: William Mata

“If there is a business case around criminality, think about it rather than blundering in, which is what it felt like.”

The mayor said he has had conversations with the Met but has found the force “defensive” in their approach.

“I would like them to say I think we got that wrong. I think that would go a long way." 

The Met has been approached for further comment but referred the reporter to a statement made last week. 

This read: “It is only right that officers are accountable for their actions and we will fully support the IOPC’s assessment of the material that has been referred to them.”