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Male bottled in mass brawl involving ‘30 young people’ in Cally

PUBLISHED: 23:26 28 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:49 01 March 2019

Police on the scene after a mass brawl in Carnoustie Drive. Picture: @Briggs741

Police on the scene after a mass brawl in Carnoustie Drive. Picture: @Briggs741

Archant

A male was bottled in the head and taken to hospital after a mass brawl between up to 30 young people erupted in Cally this evening.

A male was bottled in the head and taken to hospital after a mass brawl between up to 30 young people erupted in Cally this evening.

Police were called at 9.30pm to reports of a huge fight in Carnoustie Drive, but many of those involved dispersed before they arrived.

The victim smashed with a bottle was treated at the scene and taken to A&E, but his injuries are not life-threatening, Scotland Yard said.

A spokesperson said: “Six males were arrested at the scene for offences including affray, GBH, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage. They have been taken into custody. Enquiries continue.”

A picture of the crime scene and Nedim's shrine. Picture: Islington GazetteA picture of the crime scene and Nedim's shrine. Picture: Islington Gazette

The fight broke out near a shrine to Nedim Bilgin, 17, who was stabbed to death in Caledonian Road on January 29.

A memorial service was held for the former St Mary Magdalene Academy pupil at St David’s Church, in Westbourne Road, earlier in the day.

Nedim’s friends later congregating around his shrine to lay flowers and socialise when the incident occurred.

“Section 60” powers, giving police greater freedom to stop and search people, were authorised in Islington and Camden when the fight broke out, and have since been extended until 4am on Saturday.

Stephen Griffith, project director of the nearby Copenhagen Youth Project, a youth centre attended by Nedim and his friends, was on the scene after the brawl broke out.

“There were police everywhere,” he told the Gazette.

“It would say there were probably 50 or so police officers suddenly appeared and started talking to young people.

“It was pretty messy and chaotic. There was a crime scene but no one knew what was going on.”

But he said there “definitely” hasn’t been a rise in violent crime in Cally since Nedim’s death.

“Young people are grieving about what happened,” he said. “They’re just trying to say goodbye to their friend.

“It’s not about there being more violence at all. It’s just about the grieving process.”

He added: “When young people gather there is excitement and there is all sorts of emotion because of the grieving process and people outside of the group are coming up with their own knee jerk reactions.

“What you have to remember is you have a group of young people who are traumatised by what their saw. When he [Nedim] was killed his body lay on the pavement for a long time and that in itself is an issue. They saw this.”

One Carnoustie Drive neighbour, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Gazette: “It’s been unbearable for the past month [since Nedim Bilgin was killed].

“Since then right outside my flat teenagers have been gathering every night.”

She said they had been engaging in antisocial behaviour including fighting and smoking drugs, and had dragged park benches to the underpass, where Nedim’s shrine is, two weeks ago. Numbers have since increased.

“They sometimes intimidate people like myself,” said the neighbour. “They are using his death as an excuse for their gatherings.”

She claims to be stuck in a “vicious cycle” where the council, its anti-social behaviour team and the police all pass her complaints on to each other.

Islington Council and the Met Police have been approached for comment on these allegations.

“Tonight another fight broke out,” the neighbour added. “This time the police came because they knew there was a wake [for] Nedim and anticipated trouble.

“People have become desensitised to knife and drug crime. I am beginning to regret having brought a flat here.”

Stephen clarified he doesn’t “condone some of the stuff that’s been going on”, but explained it will take time for the community to get over its recent tragedy.

He said the project has been collaborating with other agencies and councillors to get the young people affected by Nedim’s death together to work on therapeutic solutions. And that there’s been talk of his initiative getting additional funds, although this hasn’t materialised yet.

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