MP Gavin Barwell is calling for answers from police after thousands of people attended an illegal rave in Croydon, which saw violence erupt throughout the night.
The rave was eventually shut down by police at 8.30am today, June 15, but revellers were allowed into the disused mail sorting office after police were concerned for their safety when thousands of people turned up for the party and violence escalated.
Police originally found about 200 to 300 people inside but furniture and fire extinguishers were thrown at them while they tried to secure the building.
A call from Croydon Police to make trains pass through East Croydon Station without stopping to avoid further party-goers arriving was turned down last night.
Police who arrived at the scene about 9.40pm let the party go ahead because it was safer than letting thousands of revellers onto the streets of Croydon, they said.
Croydon Central MP Mr Barwell said: “The issue here is about safety – both for the people who attend these events and for people in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
“It is pretty dangerous to go to an unlicensed venue with only one entrance. There were thousands of people there so if there was a fire there would have been a significant loss of life.
“It is a pretty unsatisfactory state of affairs and I think the question people are going to have is why was it allowed to happen in the first place?”
He said he sympathised with officers on the ground who had difficult decisions to make but asked if police had prior intelligence about the event.
He also asked if police backup was requested and dispatched quickly enough and if the owners of the building has secured it.
Mr Barwell said: “There is a lot of anger among constituents that this kind of thing was allowed to go ahead.”
He said for some people living nearby, the illegal rave had “uncomfortable parallels” with the 2011 riots.
Nine people were arrested after the illegal party in the disused mail sorting office next to East Croydon station.
Police expect further arrests as they continue with their investigation.
Were you in Croydon to witness the rave? Leave a comment below.