Shocked staff and pupils at a Plumstead school watched as a large group of armed men went on the rampage outside.
Around 30 men wielding machetes, metal bars and other weapons were seen smashing cars and chasing each other across Plumstead Common just before 2.30pm yesterday (March 22).
The “disturbing incident” was witnessed from Plumstead Manor School in Old Mill Road.
The men scattered before police arrived and staff at the school worked with officers to ensure the surrounding area was safe below allowing the children to leave school.
A spokesperson from Plumstead Manor School said: “Members of staff witnessed a disturbing incident when a large number of adult males, many of whom were armed, were seen running across Plumstead Common. Staff at the school called the police who responded very quickly.
“Our priority was to ensure the safety of our community, and working with the police, we the made the decision that the area was safe and that we could operate our normal end of the day routines.
“A large number staff were outside the school at the end of the day to ensure the safe passage home of our students, and remained there until just before 3.30pm.
“Our students behaved impeccably throughout and supported us all in managing what was a hazardous situation safely.”
Sarah Bracey, a witness, said: “I saw the cars, one was on the grass, one in the middle of the road.
“They had been smashed to bits every window, windscreen the lot.
“They were facing the same way, not anywhere near enough to think they could have crashed and abandoned.
“Just police all round it and quiet roads surrounding.”
Shamyla Qureshi, who was at the scene, said: “Windows are smashed of both cars. Glass everywhere.”
Laura Brown, another witness, said: “Two cars with foreign number plates smashed up. Looks abandoned now though.”
A spokesperson from Met Police said: “Police were called at 14:25hrs on Wednesday, 22 March to Warwick Terrace, SE18 to reports of eight to ten youths fighting.
“Witnesses subsequently described those involved as being east European men and that some were armed with baseball bats and a machete.
“On arrival officers found two damaged and abandoned cars.
“No one was found injured, no suspects were on scene and no arrests were made.
“Detectives from Greenwich borough are investigating.”