Manchester Police have explained why they were unable to stop two illegal “quarantine raves” from happening in the city this weekend.
The raves took place in Daisy Nook Country Park and Carrington on Saturday (June 13), where a man died of a suspected overdose, a woman was raped, and three people were stabbed.
According to the BBC, 6,000 people flocked to the raves, and Manchester Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes explained to the Manchester Evening News that the pair of events “came on us really quickly”.
Sykes added that in order for the police to “carefully monitor” the raves, the force needed to balance “proportionality and fairness with our overall Coronavirus response”.
He continued: “When you’re dealing with large crowds the police moving into those crowds is always a very delicate situation.
— Greater Manchester Police (@gmpolice) June 14, 2020
“The overriding principle is that we’re trying to keep people safe and we get asked quite a lot ‘why don’t you move in and disperse everybody?’. The biggest concern we often have is that if we don’t get the proportionate police action correct then other people can get hurt.
“So that assessment was about the fact that we had reports of someone injured when we moved in and actually gave first aid. Thankfully that person is recovering in hospital now and is speaking to the police about what happened.”
Responding to criticism around why the raves weren’t banned, Sykes said: “It’s not about what we allow, it’s about how we respond to things that take place. The events up at Oldham – there was some information about a gathering taking place and there was a neighbourhood operation in place to try and gather intelligence and try and understand where it was and be able to respond where we could.
“The location of that changed and the scale of it changed very much from the intelligence that we had. Then as it developed we have to try and deal with it in as proportionate a way as we possibly can, considering our duty to keep people safe but also the complexity of dealing with large crowds moving into an area.”
Stretford and Urmson MP, Kate Green, added to the MEN that too few police officers were available to “safely prevent the event,” adding: “That’s one of the reasons this was so irresponsible,” she said. “Police are very stretched, all emergency services are and they could not have safely prevented the event.”
Police were called to both raves on Saturday, later confirming that a 20-year-old man died of a suspected overdose at Daisy Nook, while three separate stabbings and an attack on an 18-year-old woman took place in Carrington.