Police called after ‘riot’ in Ilford to see YouTuber Adam Saleh
PUBLISHED: 18:22 30 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:51 02 October 2017
Police have used dogs to restrain huge crowds in Ilford which had built up to see YouTube star Adam Saleh, onlookers have claimed.
Saleh, a vlogger and rapper who has more than three million followers on YouTube, had arranged a meet and greet with fans before the release of his debut album, in Costa Coffee, Cranbrook Road.
Around 1,000 excited teenagers and families reportedly turned up for the 4pm start, however when some fans become to push to the front people got crushed.
One fan said she injured her leg in the melee.
Police officers arrived at around 4.10pm, and eyewitnesses told the Recorder that dogs were used to keep the crowd back.
“There were a lot of kids,” said one man who had queued up to see the YouTuber, but did not wish to be named.
“The police were trying to push them away. I think they used about two or three dogs.
“It was scary, particularly for the kids.”
Another onlooker said one of the dogs bit through his bag.
Alex Holmes arrived at Ilford station from a university freshers event, but found Cranbrook Road had been closed by police.
He said: “It’s the worst I’ve seen in Ilford in terms of rioting since the London riots [in 2011].
“There were a thousand people there today and a very big police presence.”
Saleh apologised on Twitter to his fans.
He said: “I’m sorry that some people ruined it. I love you and I promise I’ll make it up.”
Saleh’s agent, Naz Izi told the Recorder that they hadn’t expected so many people to turn up.
He said: “We had a meet and greet planned after the album, a love in with fans.
“It wasn’t an unorganised event, some people turned up and caused it to get out of control.
“There were people hanging off lampposts and ignoring the police.”
Mr Izi said the police took himself and Saleh back to his apartment.
“I want to thank the Metropolitan Police and particularly the Ilford Police they were fantastic.
“Apologies to the fans, to everybody that came it’s a shame that some people had to ruin it.”
A Met Police spokesman said: “Due to the dangerously large crowd of around 600 people at such a small venue, the event was cancelled.
“Officers sought to disperse the crowd peacefully in order to ensure the safety of all present.
“A man was arrested near to the scene in order to prevent a breach of the peace. He was de-arrested a short time later once he had left the location.
“At around 5.40pm, officers identified a car which was being driven in Ilford town centre and was again presenting a safety risk due to a sizeable group of people running towards the car.”
The spokesman explained the car was stopped by police, and they realised that YouTuber Saleh was in the car.
He continued: “At the man’s request, he and a second man were driven by police away from the location.”
The Scotland Yard spokesman explained that “despite the instructions of the police”, three other men who were in the car with Saleh “continued to drive in the area and provoke the gathered crowd”.
The car was stopped at 6.10pm and the three men were arrested in order to prevent a breach of the peace.
They have been taken to an east London police station where they remain at this time.
The spokesman added: “There are no reported injuries and officers have left the scene. The crowd has now dispersed.”
Insp Lisa Prior of East Area Command Unit said: “I wish to thank the majority of the crowd who dispersed peacefully despite their disappointment that the event was cancelled.
“There remained genuine safety concerns relating to the movements of the vehicle and the section of the crowd who were running towards it. As a result, officer intervened to ensure the safety of everyone present.”
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