Highbury Quadrant fireworks: ‘They had huge rockets and were firing them at balconies and cars’

Officers from MPS Highbury East seized 32 fireworks last Wednesday. Picture: MPS Highbury East

Officers from MPS Highbury East seized 32 fireworks last Wednesday. Picture: MPS Highbury East - Credit: Archant

Firework-throwers left neighbours in a state of fear after they launched “huge rockets” at balconies and cars in Highbury Quadrant last week.

Extra police were drafted in on Wednesday night, after witnesses reported marauding “gangs” of youngsters were wandering around the streets.

The reinforced Highbury East police force seized 32 fireworks that night alone – but neighbours fear there will be further antisocial behaviour during the bonfire festivities tonight.

“They were mostly in the Quadrant,” said Sandie Heath. “Several people came out to approach them, but they were very abusive.

“They had huge rockets and were firing them at the balconies, cars and one older lady who is not very mobile at the moment had one land at her front door.

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“There were eighteen boys I saw – I dread to think what it will be like on Monday evening.”

Lilian Katz, 84, who has lived in Highbury New Park for the past 50 years, told the Gazette she is “very concerned” by the fireworks.

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“I didn’t take any notice at first,” she said. “And then I heard a terrific bang and I thought something had hit my window.

“I was in the kitchen and if the window had gone I would have had glass fall on my face.

“I saw all these youths running around with these very large rockets.”

Thomas, who wouldn’t give his surname due to fear of reprisals, also lives in Highbury Quadrant Estate.

“It was about 10.30pm [on Wednesday] and suddenly I heard a huge bang.

“Fireworks were going off right outside my window and it was quite scary.”

He says there was a group of around 30 young people lobbing fireworks at each other and buildings in the estate.

Cllr Caroline Russell (Green, Highbury East) tweeted MPS Islington on Thursday, asking how people can get home safely while rockets are being fired at pedestrians.

MPS Islington responded: “If you are unable to avoid these incidents, by taking a alternative route, then seek shelter in a vehicle, behind street furniture or at a neighbours.

“Call police once you are safe and we will deal with them.”

The account later tweeted: “This area continues to be a priority for police over the coming week.”

Cllr Russell told the Gazette: “It’s terrible that big fireworks are being let off scarily close to peoples’ homes.

“It’s frightening for residents and really tough for the local police team who are trying to keep people safe.”

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