Thousands clash with police at illegal bank holiday raves

"Events of this kind are illegal and have a significant impact on the community"

Thousands of revellers have been attending illegal raves throughout the country over the weekend, leading to clashes with police.

An event in Banwen, in South Wales, saw around 3000 in attendance over the weekend with two organisers handed fixed penalty notices for £10,000.

From August 28, police in England were given new powers to fine organisers of illegal gatherings of more than 30 people up to £10,000.

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Those attending the gatherings and who do not wear face coverings also face fines of £100, which double on each offence up to £3200.


Speaking about the illegal gathering in Wales, Superintendent Jason James said: “We have throughout the day had significant resources at the site and been engaging with the attendees and making every effort to engage with the organisers. Events of this kind are illegal and have a significant impact on the community.”

He continued: “A number of people have left the site but there are still around a thousand people in attendance and we will continue to have resources at the location throughout the night.

“Those gathering know that their actions are irresponsible and we are working with other agencies and utilising the legislation available to us including Covid-19 legislation but we need to ensure that any action taken is done so safely.”

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Meanwhile, bottles and cans were thrown at officers at police attempted to break up an unlicensed event in Thetford Forest, Norfolk on Saturday (August 30). Over 500 people were thought to be in attendance.

Norfolk Police said whilst the Thetford forest event had been shut down, they had made five arrests and had seized sound equipment from the scenes. They added that “investigations were ongoing to trace the organisers.”

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Davison from Norfolk Police said they had “taken positive action to make sure the event didn’t go on into a second night” after drafting in officers from other forces to help shut down the event.

He added: “Officers did meet some hostility when entering the site with bottles and cans used as missiles and thrown at officers. Fortunately, no one was injured.

“It’s extremely disappointing to see these types of events taking place when coronavirus continues to be a real threat to our communities.

“We’re working to identify the organisers and will do everything within our power, where evidence is available, to prosecute and bring them to justice.”

Other events were also reported in West Yorkshire, Leeds and Essex.

Back in June, thousands of people attended two illegal raves in Greater Manchester, during which a 20-year-old man died from a suspected overdose, a woman was raped and three people were stabbed.

More events followed, with an illegal event of more than 3000 people taking place in Bath in July, and others in Birmingham, Leeds and London following throughout the summer months.

Back in June, experts warned that England could experience a wave of illegal raves over the summer as the coronavirus lockdown was eased.

Speaking to The Guardian, Night Time Industries Association chief executive Mike Kill said “the youth of today want to be out and want to be engaged”.

“There are a lot of people out there who are socially starved at the moment. And that’s why these illegal raves are starting to pop up because [people] have been trapped inside four walls for a long time now,” he said. “I don’t think there is anyone in our industry who couldn’t see this coming.”

He added: “Without very clear timelines there’s a lot of people looking at creating their own opportunities, socially, and putting on raves – almost like the 80s, in some respects.”

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