Police were called to Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester at 5pm last night (Friday 14 January) to reports of a disturbance, involving a large number of young people.
Officers attended, and found that a group of around 100 young people, mostly school children, were involved in fighting.
During the incident, a number of missiles were thrown at officers, and some police equipment has been damaged beyond repair.
A 16-year-old was arrested on suspicion of affray and has been released under investigation.
As of 5:30pm last night, a Section 35 Dispersal Order was put in place on Piccadilly Gardens and the surrounding area for the next 48 hours, ending at 17:30 on Sunday 16 January 2022. This will allow police officers the power to direct anyone within that public place to leave.
Superintendent Helen Critchley from GMP’s City of Manchester District said: “This kind of anti-social behaviour, which caused a huge amount of disruption for members of the public trying to get home on a Friday, as well as businesses, will not be tolerated.
“I acknowledge that a lot of those involved last night are young, and may have been easily swept up in what was happening, however due to the disruption caused, we will be working to identify all those involved using CCTV as well as officer’s body worn video footage, and hold them accountable. It’s worth noting that a number of those involved were wearing school uniform at the time.
“If you or anyone you know may have seen anything that could help with our enquiries, or have CCTV or DashCam footage of the area at the time, please get in touch with police, quoting log number 2054 of 14/01/22 either via LiveChat on our website, or call 101. Thank you.”
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
(Front cover photo of Piccadilly Gardens via Google Maps)