SHOPPERS fled in panic when rival gangs wielding bottles, planks of wood and an axe rampaged through Wood Green.
As many as 12 thugs smashed a police car window, before chasing and threatening police community support officers with an axe, leaving one officer injured.

An eyewitness, working at a nearby mobile phone store, who did not want to be named, said: “I saw a bunch of guys running down the street, with one waving around a silver axe as if he was going for the policeman. Others had these big sticks with nails on and one was carrying a whisky bottle.”

A gang of 10 Somalians reportedly chased two black teenagers into a Boots store last Wednesday afternoon, before running down Wood Green High Road.

They struck the windscreen of a police car with an axe, before threatening a police officer with the weapon. One of the officers was punched in the face.

Another onlooker, who also wanted to remain nameless, said: “People came running in here screaming in panic saying there was someone outside with an axe.

“I immediately locked the doors. I don’t think anybody wanted to know exactly what had happened.”

One man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon, while three others were taken in for public order offences.

An 18-year-old male suffering minor injuries was taken to a north London hospital before being arrested.

A similar incident involving gang fighting allegedly took place the day before, but no one was hurt.

Haringey CID is investigating the brawl and additional patrols were put in place over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Councillor Ron Aitken, Liberal Democrat crime spokesman, said: “I hope this is not part of an increase in disorder on our streets. Wood Green residents deserve to walk their streets without fear of gangs or violence.”

Chief Inspector Shaun de Souza Brady praised the police community support officers, saying: “Their outstanding bravery in bringing the incident under control cannot be understated. Their intervention resulted in no injuries to members of the public and they should be commended.”
The police pointed out there had been a reduction in violent crime down eight per cent from last year.