A WITNESS has described seeing police chase a large group of around 60 people through Barnet earlier this evening.

The man, who asked not to be named, said he saw the group, with their faces covered, flee after a police van arrived in Mays Lane, at around 6pm.

He said they ran up through a strip of green space to High Street, by Barnet Coroners Court and St John the Baptist Church, in High Street.

He told the Times-Series: “There were about 60 of them. The police chased them through the park.

“They had ski masks, balaclavas, bandannas. They were all over the place. The police pulled up in vans and as they did they all dispersed and the police chased them through the park.”

Traders were told by police to close early today in anticipation of possible riots in the Barnet area but most of the tonight’s violence, looting and arson has occurred elsewhere in the capital, particularly in south London.

Social networking sites are awash with reports of disturbances across the borough but most are proving false.

Have you seen any sign of rioting or disturbances in the borough? Contact reporter Jack Royston on 07824 530 112 or by emailing jroyston@london.newsquest.co.uk.