The Met Police has said that an incident involving knife-wielding men which forced a Romford shopping centre to evacuate is an isolated one.

Officers were called at around 3.50pm on Sunday (December 3) to reports of the incident at the Liberty Shopping Centre.

They found a man, in his 20s, with slash injuries at the scene. London Ambulance Service took him to a hospital where his condition was assessed as non-life threatening.

The shopping centre was evacuated briefly but has since reopened.

A probe has been launched by officers but no arrests have been made.

The incident triggered comment on social media, with one Recorder reader saying: “Romford is fast becoming a no-go area."

Read More: Romford town centre policing team helps seize cash and drugs

Insp Adam Richmond said that the incident has no wider threat to the public and was an isolated one.

He added: “The shopping centre was closed for a period of time to allow police to conduct urgent enquiries and the incident is now under investigation by detectives.

“This is an isolated incident and there is no risk to the wider community.”

He further assured that officers are working with partners from Havering Council and Romford Business Improvement District to improve public safety over the festive period.

Romford town centre has a dedicated team of police officers to help curtail instances of crime in the area.

Questions were also raised by some readers about the provision of CCTV cameras in the town centre.

A Havering Council spokesperson has however said that Romford has the highest coverage of the council’s CCTV cameras in the entire borough.

They said there are also several CCTVs in independent shops and professional CCTV systems in the shopping malls which are not managed by the council or police.

The council, they added, is currently reviewing and upgrading its CCTV network.

The spokesperson said: We were appalled by this latest incident in the heart of Romford town centre and continue to support police with investigations – including sharing any CCTV footage we have.

“Unfortunately, it appears that the wealth of CCTV in the town centre has not prevented the offenders on this occasion, but we will continue to work with the police and local partners to help with the ongoing investigations."

The council, they added, is working jointly with police and other community partners to carry out regular operations, such as weapon sweeps and other initiatives to prevent crime and antisocial behaviour.

A spokesperson for the shopping centre said it is supporting police with their investigation.