A FIGHT involving a group of women in the grounds of a Blackburn school at picking up time led to five arrests.
Video footage has emerged appears to show an altercation in which a number of women are said to be throwing punches and pulling each others hair.
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Police said they were called to an incident in the grounds of Meadowhead Community Infant School and Nursery, at around 3.05pm on Thursday, as parents, many with prams, waited to collect their children.
An eyewitness slammed the behaviour as ‘disgusting’ and claimed he saw distressed children screaming and fleeing the Shorrock Lane school.
Five women, aged 18, 22, 23, 37 and 46, all from Blackburn, were arrested on suspicion of affray and have since been released on police bail.
A police spokesman said: “Police were called following reports of public order offences at a school in Blackburn.
“Officers attended Meadowhead Community Infant School and Nursery in Shorrock Lane around 3.05pm on Thursday, March 17.
“Five women, all from Blackburn, were arrested on suspicion of affray.”
A statement issued on behalf of Meadowhead Infant and Nursery School said: “We would like to reassure parents and the public that the safety of our pupils, parents and staff is of the utmost importance to us and we are working with the police as they investigate this incident.”
The footage, which has been shared on Facebook and viewed more than 120,000 times, allegedly shows a number of women fighting in front of the school’s main entrance.
Other parents, not involved, were said to move to one side as the violence escalates.
Punches are allegedly thrown and one woman is seen pulling the hair of another.
A mother not involved in the incident, is seen wheeling a small child in a pushchair past the melee and into the school.
A building contractor working on a nearby house said: “I heard a commotion, a lot of shouting and screaming coming from the front of the school.
“The scuffling and fighting went on for around three minutes.
“It was pretty disgusting behaviour to see at any time but in front of small children in the middle of the afternoon it was terrible.
“I saw parents and children trying to get away from the violence.
“It looked to me that a couple of members of staff came out of the building to try and calm things down and split it up.
“After a few minutes three police cars and two police vans turned up and several officers moved in to calm things down.”
Cllr Konrad Tapp, represents Meadowhead on Blackburn with Darwen Council and is a governor at nearby Meadowhead Junior School.
He said: “Both these schools are excellent and do a lot of great work for the children who go there.
“I’m sure this is an isolated incident and does not reflect on the school or the overwhelming majority of parents.”
Anyone with information is urged to call police.
A police spokesman said: “Three women aged 22, 46 and 23 have been bailed until May 5, with two women aged 18 and 37 bailed until May 6, pending further enquiries.
“Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting crime reference ED1603877.”