A video making the rounds online this week shows a large group of teens congregating in a park before breaking out into a mass brawl. The footage, taken in the town of Stamford, England, is just one of many examples popping up of teens breaking social distancing guidelines — often with violent results.
The video out of Stamford shows several groups of teens congregating in a meadow area of the town. According to the Rutland & Stamford Mercury, nearly 100 people had gathered at the site in several groups by 7:30 pm. Reportedly, this number included up to 20 teenagers. The outlet says that those gathered were in breach of social distancing rules mandating no more than two people from different households getting together, and remaining two meters apart.
Around 9:45 pm, a fight broke out between some of the teens, resulting in the massive brawl seen in the video shared to social media.
Police say they had received a report of a large gathering of youths earlier in the night. Reportedly, they did not arrive in time to intervene in the fighting.
“Officers attended but the group had dispersed before we arrived,” a Lincolnshire Police spokesperson said, according to the Lincolnshire Reporter. “Officers are looking into this.”
A Trend of Teen Mass Brawls
Several similar incidents have been reported worldwide in the past few weeks, despite widespread stay-at-home guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19. Earlier this week, the Daily Mail reported on a huge street fight that broke out between teen girls and young women in Rochester, New York. The outlet says that a 26-year-old woman and a juvenile girl were treated for stab wounds in the incident, while 29-year-old Tasja Martin was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and first-degree riot.
Meanwhile in Cork, Ireland, up to 70 teens reportedly gathered in the parking of lot a housing estate for what appeared to be a planned brawl, says the Independent. Multiple residents of the complex captured parts of the fight on video.
As in the Stamford incident, the brawls dispersed before police arrived, and no arrests were made. Residents of the area who witnessed the fight have expressed disgust and disappointment with the teens’s parents.
“It is absolutely shocking,” one local said, according to the Independent. “How on earth can this be allowed in the middle of a pandemic lockdown?”