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Chapel Market stallholders fear ‘someone will die’ after gang violence erupts again in Islington

PUBLISHED: 09:35 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:50 16 March 2017

David Twydell, chairman of the Chapel Market Traders Association, said the gang brawls with impact stallholders' business. Picture: James Morris

David Twydell, chairman of the Chapel Market Traders Association, said the gang brawls with impact stallholders' business. Picture: James Morris

Archant

Terrified Chapel Market stallholders this morning said they fear for their safety after the latest gang brawl in the heart of Islington.

Last night's brawl spilled from Chapel Market into White Conduit Street. Picture: James Morris Last night's brawl spilled from Chapel Market into White Conduit Street. Picture: James Morris

Stallholders said between 20 and 30 boys confronted each other outside McDonald’s at about 4pm yesterday before chaos ensued. Chairs were thrown, while one boy tried to grab hold of a ladder before being stopped by a market trader.

A source said the fight, which moved around the corner to White Conduit Street, was between college students and the Caledonian Road “Cally Boys” gang, who were said to have been screaming “Cally” during the brawl.

It followed another fight which erupted in the same location at a similar time on Tuesday. David Twydell, chairman of the Chapel Market Traders Association, told the Gazette from behind his fruit stall this morning: “I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.”

Another stallholder, who didn’t want to be named, said: “There were loads of them. At least 20 to 30 boys. They were screaming and shouting at each other. They geed each other up then charged at each other.

“Whatever they could get to hit somebody, they picked it up. They had poles, chairs – one guy tried to pick up a set of ladders but the stallholders stopped him.

“An old lady came up to me crying her heart out, physically shaking. She asked me: ‘What’s going on?’ It’s terrifying as a stallholder. Really bad for business.

“Police came and they all ran through Iceland to escape, as there’s another exit there to get out the back. The worst fear is someone is going to get killed.”

One shopper said how she dived into Costa to take refuge with her children as the fight ensued.

And Mr Twydell added: “It’s scary. It’s putting people off the market. When you’ve got these gangs throwing bottles and using tables and chairs as weapons, are people going to shop here? As stallholders we are struggling enough as it is. This is the last thing we need.

“I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. Hopefully it won’t be an innocent bystander.

“It was definitely linked to college kids – I don’t know where from – and McDonald’s is the congregation point. No one seems to cook any more so they all go there for a burger.”

Last night’s incident – which the Met said it was “unaware of” – follows a pattern of violence that has erupted in Islington in the past week. There have been huge brawls in Goswell Road, Upper Street (as shown in the video above) and Hornsey Road.

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