Page last updated at 15:34 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 16:34 UK

Mob attacks officers over litter

Police in North End in Croydon on Friday
Police in the Croydon area where two officers were attacked by a mob

Two police officers were attacked by a mob in south London after they asked a 15-year-old girl to pick up her litter.

One officer was dragged to the ground and kicked while the other was bitten by a girl who jumped on his back.

Up to 30 people took part in the attack, which happened in North End, Croydon, on Wednesday afternoon.

Trouble flared when the 15-year-old threw her food wrapper back on to the ground and became aggressive. The two officers are currently on sick leave.

One eyewitness said he saw two police officers struggling with a girl before a group of youths joined in and began pushing and shoving the officers.

It was disgusting the way they treated the police
Eyewitness Lawen Karim

Lawen Karim, 19, said: "The girl got violent, her friends got really violent.

"The police - there were only two of them - they were really outnumbered and all these yobs were just pushing them out of the way.

"I didn't see any punch being thrown but it was disgusting the way they treated the police."

A girl who was arrested at the scene on suspicion of assault has been released on bail.

CCTV footage

Two men, aged 34 and 38 and both from South Norwood, south London, have been arrested on suspicion of assault and violent disorder.

Police said the girl initially picked up the fast food wrapper when asked by the patrolling officers, but immediately dropped it again sparking the confrontation.

Both officers, aged 34 and 29, suffered bruising and knee injuries and the officer who received the bite wound required hospital treatment.

Police have been examining CCTV footage from the area.

Insp Simon Ellingham said: "We have heard from several retailers in the area who were horrified at the level of violence used by the crowd against the officers."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific