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Riot police raid £30m Mayfair squat after 2,000 people show up to Facebook party 'gone wrong'


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Riot police raid £30m Mayfair squat after 2,000 people show up to Facebook party 'gone wrong'



By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 3:49 PM on 12th February 2010




Riot police were called to evacuate 2,000 teenagers from a Facebook party organized by squatters in a £30million house over fears the roof would collapse.

The revellers allegedly turned violent as they left the five-storey property in Mayfair, west London, last night.

Police officers armed with shields and batons held the crowd back after some hurled bottles at ambulance paramedics and firefighters who were also called to the scene.









A spokesman from Scotland Yard said that the trouble started at about 11pm after several teenagers were seen climbing onto the roof of the Park Lane town house, raising concerns that it may collapse.


Enlarge article-1250414-084145C9000005DC-281_306x593.jpg

Enlarge article-1250414-0840E727000005DC-243_306x593.jpg


Party on: Thousands of people packed into the house before the riot squad were called. Revelers climbed up hoardings to reach the party, which started at 9pm yesterday. It was finally broken up at about 1am



Enlarge article-1250414-0840DE9E000005DC-455_634x450.jpg Stop: Riot police block off entrance to Park Lane as revellers are evicted


Park Lane and Oxford Street, London’s busiest road, were shut off while police dealt with the situation.

Some witnesses said several of the teenagers had told them the gathering was a squat party arranged via the social networking website Facebook.


Night porter, Peter Bateile, who works next door, told the Evening Standard: 'People were trying to jump onto the roof of our building. There were so many squatters. They threw down lots of bottles and glasses into our gardens.


'They have been there for two months causing a nuisance to the neighbourhood and they have totally ruined that house. It’s really good they have been removed.'

Courtney Love and her band Hole had to cancel a gig at Proud in Camden as she was staying in the house next door to the rave.


Police would not let her leave, which left hundreds of fans at the Camden show disappointed.

She offered an apology on Twitter: 'per PROUD kids there was as youll read tomorrow in the London papers a MASSIVE riot tonight putside my HOUSE the cops wouldnt let me leave.'


Joe Puga, who manages Sino's Wine Bar opposite the house, said the party was 'terrifying'.


He said that he and his staff were so scared the trouble makers would break into his restaurant they stayed at the premises until 3am.


He said: 'It was absolutely terrifying, after about 9.30pm literally thousands of young people started to arrive from all directions.


'They were shouting and screaming and making so much noise. There were boys running across cars and throwing stuff.



article-1250414-0840DF72000005DC-713_634x653.jpg You're nicked son: A youth is held by police outside the squat rave


article-1250414-08414CA2000005DC-670_634x447.jpg Revellers vandalised the neighbourhood as riot police tried to get them to disperse


Enlarge article-1250414-0840D05E000005DC-586_306x470.jpg

Enlarge article-1250414-0840E0C2000005DC-389_306x470.jpg


Chaos: Teenagers on the balcony of the five-story property as policemonitor the situation



'At one point the house was so full that the doors were bolted so people started climbing up the walls to try to get in the window.


'The police came at about midnight and when they raided the party the people swarmed out of the house like ants - they had been crawling all over it.


'The strange thing was that they didn't seem to be any music, all we could hear was shouting.


'We stayed here till about 3am, we have only had about an hour's sleep because we were afraid they would try to smash our windows.'


He added: 'I have seen about three or four of these coming in and out over the past week so I think they are squatters.


'I don't really mind squatters living there but I certainly don't want another party like that, it was awful.'



Rino Sifo, a chef at Sino's Wine Bar, said: 'It was a really crazy night tonight.



Enlarge article-1250414-0840E0B2000005DC-592_634x391.jpg Riot police: Officers carrying batons and shields arrive in Mayfair, west London



Enlarge article-1250414-08414C93000005DC-494_634x301.jpg Vandalised: The back entrance to the house which was bought in 2007 for £15million and occupied by squatters when it was left unoccupied for more than a year

'I think some of the people even tried to break the gates in front of our restaurant.


'The riot police were here and I think some people got hurt when they fell trying to climb into windows.

'There must have been thousands of people, every single floor of the building was heaving.'


Another neighbour, mother of two Kalpa Patel, 32, told the Standard: 'It’s terrible. They were charging £3 per person to get in. They were very drunk — drinking, swearing and banging on my door.


'My five and four-year-old kids were very scared and I had to call the police three or four times. There were 600-700 people outside and the building on all floors was totally packed.'

Andrew Bentham, an account manager at a communications firm who got caught in the chaos on his way home, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘There are thousands of teenagers on the street and it is getting violent, the riot police are trying to deal with them, but it is looking pretty volatile.



‘I asked some of them what was happening and they told me it was a Facebook party gone wrong, apparently the roof of the building they were in was in danger of collapsing, so they have come spilling out onto the street.’






Another onlooker said: ‘There was a stand off between the police and a huge group of teenagers.

‘The police had their shields and batons raised and the teenagers were stood about 30 yards away being very rowdy. The atmosphere was pretty tense.’


Enlarge article-1250414-08414CB2000005DC-351_634x431.jpg The clean-up operation lasted long into the night, meaning one of London's main thoroughfares was closed to traffic


Enlarge article-1250414-08414D05000005DC-859_634x418.jpg The aftermath: The party was finally broken up at 1am after riot police piled into the Mayfair home

The party comes just over a year after squatters took over two exclusive seven-storey properties on Park Lane that had lain empty for months.

They were eventually evicted.


In recent years there have been a string of parties organised on Facebook that have ended in chaos.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: ‘We have been attending a call to a building in Park Lane after reports that in excess of 2,000 young people were holding a large party.


'Some people were seen climbing onto the roof and there is concern that the roof may have become unsafe.

‘Police have attended to get the partygoers removed for their own safety. We were called at 11pm and the situation was being brought under control within the first 90 minutes.

‘The London Ambulance service and Fire Brigade have also been in attendance and there are reports that they have had bottles thrown at them.’

A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said there had been no injuries.




Enlarge article-1250414-08415C60000005DC-745_634x490.jpg The party happened in an empty house on the corner of North Row and Park Lane on the border of London's exclusive Mayfair

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