Terrifying moment thugs launch rockets at RSPCA animal hospital forcing staff to cower inside as police demand urgent review into sale of fireworks after spate of missile attacks
- Fireworks launched at the RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital in Finsbury Park
- Staff barricaded themselves inside the building as explosives were launched
- Comes as Police Federation boss called for urgent review on sale of fireworks
This is the shocking moment a gang of youths fire explosives at an animal hospital and leave staff trapped inside the building.
Terrified animal carers barricaded themselves inside the RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital in Finsbury Park, North London, as the gang pelted fireworks across the street in scenes that have since been described as ‘something out of a war zone’.
Police also came under attack as they battled to protect staff and animals at the centre after the youths lined the entrance to the hospital with bins on November 5 at around 9.40pm.
The footage, which was captured by one staff member, comes as Police Federation chair John Apter called for an urgent review into the sale of fireworks amid a spate of attacks across the UK.
The gang of youths throw fireworks at the RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital in Finsbury Park, North London on November 5
A police car arrives to the scene in London as the explosives are pelted towards the building
A RSPCA spokesperson later explain that dedicated staff at the hospital should be able to carry out the job ‘without fear for themselves or the animals’
During the footage, the explosives are launched towards the building and a member of staff is heard saying: ‘It’s like something out of a war zone.’
The street begins to fill with smoke as the youths continue to launch the explosives.
Many of the animals had to be moved elsewhere in the building due to the distress they were in and amid fears they could be hit by one of the fireworks.
A RSPCA spokesperson said: ‘Our dedicated workers at Harmsworth Animal Hospital are trying to continue to care and treat animals during the challenging times of lockdown and they should be able to do this without fear for themselves or the animals.
‘Fireworks have been going off in this area during the week upsetting the dogs and animals in the hospital, and staff also reported sparks visible in the branches of the trees close to the hospital.
‘We had one particularly horrible incident where fireworks were launched at a police car right outside the hospital.
‘This anti-social and dangerous behaviour is obviously unacceptable but, as well as this, lockdown measures this year also mean that very few organised, public displays are likely to go ahead.
‘We suspect this will mean people will have their own displays at home instead and we fear that this will result in lots of little displays taking place over a few weeks, spreading out fireworks noise and causing prolonged distress for animals.
‘Fireworks are extremely stressful and frightening for lots of animals. But they can also cause very serious injury and even death to some.’
A ball of fire shoots into the sky as the gang fire the explosives at the hospital and also leave police officers in harms way
The street begins to fill with smoke as the youths launch a firework at a police car
Attacks from fireworks can carry a fine of up to £5,000 or imprisonment of up to six months.
MailOnline has contacted the Metropolitan Police for comment.
Last week shocking footage showed two groups of youths shooting fireworks at each other on a street in Stamford Hill, in north London.
One man was seen raising his arms shouting ‘what, what, what’ as a member of the public ran for cover with his dry cleaning.
Elsewhere in Hackney a firework was launched in the street outside a Sainsbury’s as a group of youths fled before police arrived.
Meanwhile in Smethwick, Birmingham, thugs targeted police with a stream of fireworks forcing the officers to flee as the dangerous pyrotechnics exploded around them.
Footage showed a group of thugs seen shooting a barrage of live fireworks at officers.
West Midlands Police are investigating the incident and slammed the ‘reckless behaviour’ adding that it could have ‘easily led to serious injury’.
They confirmed a 16-year-old boy was detained after he was caught carrying fireworks.
Sergeant Mike Bradley from Sandwell Police, said: ‘We are aware of video footage being circulated of fireworks being launched at passing cars including a police car on 31 October.
‘We received several calls at around 6.30pm and as officers arrived in Cape Hill, fireworks were thrown at one of our police cars.
‘A 16-year-old boy was detained and taken home after he was caught carrying fireworks. He will be voluntary interviewed.
The gang were seen pelting explosives at cars on the streets in Cape Hill, Birmingham
A police car was pelted with fireworks in Smethwick, forcing the officers to flee as the dangerous pyrotechnics exploded around them
Last week Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service came under attack after they were called to a bonfire in Speke
‘Letting off fireworks in the street and throwing objects into the road is reckless behaviour which could easily have led to serious injury. It’s lucky no one was hurt.
‘It’s against the law to set off or throw fireworks in the street or a public place, and for under 18s to buy or possess fireworks. ‘
The scenes came after police and fire services ‘came under attack’ from fireworks after they were called to a large bonfire in Speke.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said while no-one was injured the incident ‘will not be tolerated’.
A statement released by Mersey Fire read: ‘Our firefighters have come under attack by people throwing fireworks tonight at they responded to an incident in Speke – this will not be tolerated.
‘Crews were called to a large bonfire on Western Avenue shortly before 7pm. On arrival, firefighters were greeted with a large number of people who immediately began verbally abusing them and throwing fireworks. Thankfully no one was injured and the fire engine was not damaged, but that does not make this acceptable.
‘Firefighters are NOT targets, they are human beings with families and loved ones waiting for them at home. They go out each day and night, 24/7, 365 days a year to keep YOU, the people of Merseyside safe. They are there for you in your time of need and put their lives at risk on a daily basis – is this the thanks they get?
‘They do not deserve to be verbally and physically attacked as they carry out their duties. Our firefighters are just doing their job. They are not out to ruin anyone’s fun, they are trying to keep you and your communities safe. Please treat them with the respect they deserve.
In Scotland, police swooped on a huge illegal rave in Greenock as crowds gathered for an illegal fireworks and bonfire display.
The mob turned rowdy as officers approached and they reportedly pelted emergency workers with bottles during the night.
Yobs pelted police and firefighters with bottles after an illegal rave was broken up early in the night in Greenock, Scotland (left and right)
St Andrew’s Church said hundreds had gathered for fireworks and fire crews and police had been targetted with bottles
Video shows a DJ blaring out music on decks for a street party as fireworks and a large bonfire lit up the night sky behind him.
St Andrew’s Church, which is near the site, posted on social media saying one of their members had tried to confront the group.
It posted: ‘Hundreds have gathered for fireworks and are using the church wall as a public toilet. Father Danny has tried to keep them out but has just been advised by the police, for his own safety, to stay inside.
‘Both fire service and police have had bottles thrown at them.’
A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: ‘We were alerted at 7.47pm on Thursday, November 5 to reports of a bonfire in Greenock.
‘Operations Control mobilised one appliance to Auchmead Road, where firefighters requested the assistance of their police partners after encountering antisocial behaviour. There were no firefighter injuries.’
Meanwhile in Sheffield an officer had to escape his parked car after fireworks began to explode inside his car.
The police officer can be seen escaping his vehicle as yobs on a Sheffield estate after fireworks were thrown into the car
The pyrotechnics appear to have been thrown in through the passenger’s window on Wensley estate in Grimesthorpe on October 31.
Following the recent spate of attacks, John Apter, the National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, called for an urgent review of the current legislation.
He said: ‘The dangerous, irresponsible and unlawful use of fireworks we have seen over recent days can no longer be ignored.
‘We have witnessed numerous pitched battles in the streets with fireworks being used as a weapon of choice and fired indiscriminately at police officers
National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, John Apter, has called for an urgent review of the sale of fireworks
‘This is not just a ‘bit of fun’, it is a serious issue which can, and does, lead to people being badly injured.
‘The current legislation is clearly not fit for purpose, and there must be a comprehensive and urgent review which should include the availability of over the counter fireworks.
‘This violent behaviour towards emergency service workers, who are doing their jobs and helping people in need, is totally unacceptable.
‘There must be harsher punishments to send a clear and unequivocal message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.’
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