Shocked Christmas shoppers have described scenes of "chaos" as hundreds of suspected teenage "travelers" attempted to force their way to Harrods in west London last night.
The Knightsbridge department store was overrun on Saturday by a group of young people believed to be members of the travel community. Many did not wear face masks or followed Covid's guidelines on social distancing.
Police were called to disperse the crowd and four people were arrested after the mob clashed with Harrods security guards. Saturday marked the start of the first weekend as lockdown rules were relaxed on December 2nd.
Witnesses told of fighting that resulted in bottles being thrown and a security guard "beaten" in the middle of the carnage.
Kamran Hussain, 20, who works as a sales rep for Harrods, said, “I went out to lunch and saw a large crowd of people, all well dressed.
“I went back in and felt like Covid-19 was still running, right? I looked outside and it looked like there was a rave going on. They looked like they were dressed to go to a club or something.
“I think they knew each other because they talked to each other. I was a little worried because I had lunch and couldn't get through. & # 39;
Sam Tressle, 26, from Havering, east London, occupied a coffee stand nearby and said, “I was just about to couple my Piaggio and then suddenly people started running. There were around 200 to 300 people.
“They just overcrowded the area and nobody was wearing masks there. "When I was at the door, a girl said," You are racist towards us because we are travelers. "They all looked very alike, all boys had the same haircuts and wore the same clothes. They were probably 12 years old by the early 20s."
27-year-old barista Liam Maddin added: “I probably noticed them around 11:30 am and they were still here when we left around 5:30 pm. You just never know the sheer number of them in such a small space. I had a negative coronavirus test for Uni yesterday and you just think, all these people and the younger you are, the more likely you are to be asymptomatic. & # 39;
A Met Police spokeswoman said: "The police were called at 1:00 pm on Saturday for reports of a large group of people trying to enter a store on Brompton Road.
A total of four men were arrested – two for fraud, one for violating Covid regulations and one for violating public order and violating Covid regulations. The crowd has now dispersed. & # 39;
Hundreds of young people tried to enter the Harrods luxury department store in Knightsbridge, London, yesterday and huddled outside in the streets
Pictures taken around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday show chaotic scenes on the streets outside of Harrods and Harvey Nichols when police were called and made four arrests for Affray and Covid rule violations
A large group of teenagers gathered in Knightsbridge last night with reports they were trying to force their way to Harrods
Witnesses claim the teenagers were members of the traveling community and visited London from different parts of the country
The group consisted of hundreds of young people who did not wear masks and did not observe social distancing
There were long queues outside of Harrods on Sunday too, although the line looked quieter and more distant than last night
There was no sign of last night's chaos as families and other shoppers loitered outside the department store this afternoon
The police were initially called into the store shortly after 1 p.m. and the crowd dispersed. However, photos taken around 5:30 p.m. showed that people were still standing close together, chatting and laughing, as they were far superior to the police presence.
Many of the members of the group appeared to be heavily made up and looked like they were spending the night on the town.
Led the outrage against the scenes, Piers Morgan tweeted on Sunday morning, “Harrods yesterday afternoon. What a sick joke. Imagine how NHS staff feel when they see such selfish reckless behavior? & # 39;
A witness who wanted to remain anonymous told MailOnline: “There was a lot of beer bottles thrown around, a lot of violence. I work in Knightsbridge and I was really scared of being robbed and attacked when I took my break. They were like hooligans breaking displays for a coffee shop. «
Another said, “I was out and into Harrods last night. This wasn't just a random crowd of young people, they were travelers.
They huddled at every entrance and exit, some of them tried to get into the shop and beat a security guard. “They threatened the public and there was some fighting in the store and outside.
Obviously, they didn't obey COVID laws, and even spat on some members of the security and public. No masks, no social distancing – nothing. Harrods really did their best to get it, but there were thousands. & # 39;
A Harrods spokeswoman told MailOnline: “We can confirm that a crowd gathered in front of Harrods yesterday and was dispersed by the police.
& # 39; As this is a police matter and took place out of business, we cannot comment on any details. At Harrods, however, we have taken important measures to ensure the absolute health and safety of our colleagues and customers in the store.
"This includes the compulsory wearing of face-covering at all times, strict capacity restrictions and restrictions for groups of more than six people, with children under 18 always accompanied by an adult.
& # 39; Our security and retail teams are implementing these guidelines at entrances throughout the store and we will continue to deny access to anyone who does not follow these guidelines.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that officials were called to reports from a large group attempting to enter a shop in southwest London just after 1 p.m. today and four men were arrested
Chaotic scenes ensued as the large group tried to enter the Harrods store and huddled in the streets around Harrods and Harvey Nichols
City police were called to the scene and the crowd has dispersed since then. Of the four arrests, two were for fraud, one for violating Covid regulations and one for violating public order and one for violating Covid regulations
The shocking scenes at Harrods come as night owls gathered in Covent Garden in London's West End on Saturday night when crowds formed to listen to a street musician.
The drinkers braved the wintry weather last night as they chatted in a crowd, held drinks and danced.
London remains in Tier 2 of the new tier system during the coronavirus pandemic. Those who live in Tier 2 can interact outdoors with people outside their household as long as they adhere to the rule of six.
The pubs' curfew has been extended to 11:00 pm, but they can only serve alcohol with a "substantial meal". In Tier 3, they're only limited to takeaways.
Covent Garden was also packed with night owls on Saturday night of the first weekend after the second statewide lockdown was lifted
Crowds listen to a street musician in Covent Garden, London on Saturday night. People living in Tier 2 can interact outdoors with people outside their household as long as they adhere to the rule of six
A man holding a pint dances in Covent Garden in London's West End on December 5th in front of a man wearing a mask
On Saturday, shoppers also made up for lost time during the lockdown as they flocked to main streets to do Christmas shopping after stores reopened after nationwide restrictions were lifted.
London's Regent Street in central London, which was pedestrianized to win back shoppers, was crowded with people yesterday at the start of an expected £ 1.5 billion shopping spree.
People were in effect on the first day off since the lockdown ended on December 2 in hopes of doing Christmas sales with prices up to 80 percent lower.
They were presented with bags of goods and waited in lines outside stores including Primark and the soon-to-be-closed Debenhams.
Last year the average Briton spent £ 1,116 each Christmas, but that is expected to increase after this difficult year.
Retailers are hoping pre-Christmas shopping will bring life to a sector that has been hit by the shutdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The upswing for the businesses in trouble comes after a week of trouble on Main Street as 26,500 retail jobs were at risk, including Sir Philip Green's and Debenhams' Arcadia Group, which were hard hit by the pandemic.
London's Regent Street pedestrian mall was teeming with shoppers at the start of an expected £ 1.5 billion spending spree on Saturday
On the first day off since the lockdown ended on December 2, shoppers were pictured carrying bags of goods and waiting in lines outside stores, including Primark and the soon-to-be-closed Debenhams
London remains in Tier 2, which means that the pub curfew has been extended to 11pm, but alcohol can only be served with a "hearty meal". Pictured: Drinkers and guests gather in Soho
Police break up a big party at the Nottingham Christmas market while the crowd dance to music with very little social distance
- In the city center of Nottingham, countless night owls gathered who broke the rules
- The city's legally permissible festive street market got into chaos on Saturday
- A crowd of partygoers seen outside Nottingham's City Hall while music was booming
- A man is seen turning a bicycle with two loudspeakers talking to officers in the clip
By Jemma Carr for Mailonline
Police had to intervene after a big party broke out at a Christmas market in Nottingham on Saturday night.
Crowds of night owls gathered as the city's legal festive street market fell into chaos.
Party-goers were seen jumping up and down outside Nottingham's town hall and raising their arms in the air as music boomed.
The clip shows a man riding a bicycle with two massive speakers attached to the side and talking to officers.
The footage also shows a delivery truck and several uniformed police officers in the heart of the city falling into stage three after the statewide lockdown was lifted this week.
According to the new rules, outdoor market stalls can continue to trade, but must comply with national guidelines.
Police had to intervene after a big party (pictured) broke out at a Christmas market in Nottingham on Saturday night
Outdoor market stalls (pictured) are still allowed to trade Tier 3, but must comply with national guidelines
Huge swarms of night owls gathered after the city's legal festive street market fell into chaos
The instructions state that all dealers must wear face covers and hand sanitizer should be provided at each stand.
Nottingham Christmas market, run by event company Mellors Group, operates a one-way system for shoppers, and alcohol is not sold to prevent potential fun shoppers from breaking the rules.
The number of people in the market can be limited if necessary, and a tiered access system is in operation.
The clip shows a man riding a bicycle with two massive speakers attached to the sides (see picture)
The footage also shows a van and several uniformed police officers dotted around the heart of the city (two pictured) – who fell into stage three after the statewide lockdown was lifted this week
The Nottingham Christmas Market (police in the market, picture) run by the Mellors Group event company operates a one-way system for shoppers and alcohol is not sold to prevent potential funny shoppers from breaking the rules
It is not known if anyone was arrested at the Christmas market today. Pictured: the footage shows a party in the market
A man with a bike left the impromptu party on Saturday. Two large speakers were attached to his bike
Huge crowds of mask-free night owls gathered in Nottingham city center on Saturday
The market from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. opened its doors on December 5th and will stay open until Christmas Eve.
Locals, however, had mixed views on whether the market should move forward this year – especially since the city has been put into the toughest lockdown under the government's new system.
A local went on Twitter to share a picture of the large crowd drawn to the market with the caption, “Clumber Street, Nottingham Today and We're Tier 3.
"It will be a miracle if we don't have another huge increase in Covid cases."
Locals had mixed views on whether the market (pictured) should continue this year – especially since the city has been put into the toughest lockdown stage under the government's new system
It was announced yesterday that Nottingham's Christmas market goers will see armed police in the city center as the troop step up patrols for the festive season. Pictured: Police in the market on Saturday
The UK reported an additional 15,539 Covid-19 cases today. Of these, 252 were registered in Nottinghamshire and 96 in Nottingham itself. Pictured: Police on Saturday at the Nottingham Christmas Market
Three women pose for photos at the Nottingham Christmas Market on Saturday night
Melissa Chloe also shared pictures of the crowd, writing, "How on earth is the Nottingham Christmas Market allowed to go on, but restaurants still can't open with sensible protocols?"
Ruth Raven added, 'Nottingham is in Tier 3. Just a short drive from where I live. These are the official rules.
“How on earth can the Christmas market comply with these rules? It's an absolute farce. & # 39;
The UK reported an additional 15,539 Covid-19 cases today. Of these, 252 were registered in Nottinghamshire and 96 in Nottingham itself.
Locals had mixed views on whether the market should move forward this year – especially since the city has been put into the toughest lockdown under the government's new system
It was announced yesterday that Nottingham's Christmas market goers will see armed police in the city center as the troop step up patrols for the festive season.
Officers – both in uniform and civilian clothes – will be on their way to fight the crime.
Police said this surge in policing was normal over the Christmas season.
It is not known if anyone was arrested at the Christmas market today.
Nottinghamshire Police and Mellors Group have been asked for comments.
A spokesman for Nottingham City Council told Nottinghamshire Live: “Nottingham's Covid rates have fallen dramatically in the past few weeks, due to the continued efforts of those who live and work in our fantastic city.
"This year has been so difficult for everyone and we know that Christmas – usually such a social and family-oriented time – will unfortunately not be the same in 2020."
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