Senior police officer defends response to Shannon Centre club ‘gun’ fight

Developers want to demolish the Shannon Centre, which acts as a bar at the moment, and build a six-s

Developers want to demolish the Shannon Centre, which acts as a bar at the moment, and build a six-storey block of flats. - Credit: Archant

A senior officer has responded to criticism after it emerged police waited inside their vehicles after they were called to reports of gunfire outside a nightclub.

Clubbers were forced to run for cover after shots were fired near the entrance of the Shannon Centre, Cameron Road, Seven Kings, on June 6.

Det Ch Insp Neil Lemon said: “That’s our standard procedure, to set up a rendezvous point, unless there is an immediate threat.

“We have to balance the risk of our officers being injured.”

Security staff, who carried clubbers to safety, questioned the actions of officers who remained in their police cars.

Eyewitnesses say they also saw a samurai sword being drawn following scuffles outside the venue, which houses Berties nightclub and O’Connors bar.

Det Ch Insp Lemon said: “It’s a judgement call for the officers themselves to make and we have a duty as managers to consider the safety of our officers as well as the safety of the public.

Most Read

“It was a fairly significant incident and it was entirely the right decision to wait for a response unit.”

He stressed that Metropolitan Police has worked hard to increase the number of firearms units operating across London.

“Obviously, not every borough has firearms officers and it takes different times for armed officers to arrive,” he said.

“Normally, they arrive within 10 to 15 minutes.”

He added: “We have very few issues with gun crime in Redbridge and in this particular incident it was a blank fire and the person was arrested and charged.”

The venue has had its licence suspended following the incident and it is waiting to find out if it will be revoked permanently.