The Met Police’s Safer Schools Sergeant for Greenwich, Geoff Warren, has issued an urgent appeal to parents in Woolwich after “horrible scenes” in the town centre during Halloween on Sunday night.
In a statement directly addressed to parents and guardians, Sergeant Warren said: “Yesterday evening myself, my team and many other officers were deployed in Woolwich Town Centre to deal with hundreds of youths throwing fireworks, causing disorder and ‘hanging around’.
“There was also a young man stabbed in the town centre last night and a vulnerable member of the public receiving medical attention after a firework was thrown in his direction.”
Sergeant Warren said many fireworks were thrown in the busy area where young children, elderly and vulnerable people were present.
He said it was “only luck” that prevented more people getting seriously hurt.
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He continued: “Can I please appeal to your duty as a parent/guardian to ensure your child is not present unless accompanied by a responsible adult in Woolwich Town Centre in the evenings leading up to and including fireworks night.
“Even if your child was a spectator to what was going on, they are responsible for creating physical cover in crimes being committed and an audience.
“I feel let down by the children present and it is your responsibility as parents and guardians to make sure they do not let you and your community down again.”
Sergeant Warren asked parents and guardians to remove their children from the town centre any evening this week, and to do the same if they recognise any of their children’s friends.
He concluded: “We can only make our community safe if we work together in doing so. I have served Greenwich Borough for many years and I was saddened to see the way children and young adults were behaving.
“Please do everything you can to ensure your children are at home or in a safe place, and not unaccompanied in the town centre any evening this week and the weekend.”
A spokesman from Royal Borough of Greenwich added: “We are appalled by the firework violence that took place in Woolwich Town Centre on Sunday evening. “The actions of a few risked the lives and wellbeing of members of the public, police and council staff.”