Pressure on illegal ravers

21 November 2013

Police have vowed to keep up the pressure on organisers of
illegal raves after officers prevented an event in Thorpe St Andrew
at the weekend.

Twelve people were arrested and sound equipment seized after
officers were alerted to suspicious activity at Pinebanks on
Saturday night (16 November). More than 50 people arrived at the
site shortly afterwards becoming hostile towards police.

Residents, businesses and landowners are urged to be vigilant
and to call police immediately if they witness similar
activity.

Chief Superintendent Nick Davison, County Policing Commander,
said: “The action taken last weekend falls in line with our
zero-tolerance approach to these events and its important people
understand the reasons for this action.

“These events are illegal, happen in uncontrolled environments
and therefore pose a risk to the safety of people attending. This
was evidenced at two events disrupted in the summer where a young
woman was airlifted to hospital after collapsing through taking a
cocktail of drugs at a rave near Thetford while a man suffered head
injuries after falling from a speaker rig onto farm machinery at a
rave near North Walsham.

The consequences are potentially fatal and
as the police we cannot be seen to standby and not make any
intervention.

“These events, sometimes referred to as free parties , also
impact on the wider community people often drive to and from
raves and with large numbers this can cause significant disruption
in local communities. This is without the serious anti-social
behaviour, noise nuisance, criminal damage and environmental
impact…someone has to clean up after the event.

“We will continue to work pro-actively to disrupt events and
take positive and appropriate action where necessary.

Meanwhile, four police officers were injured after being called
to Aylsham Lodge Hotel on Friday night following a disturbance at a
private party. The incident follows a trend seen over the last year
where short-notice bookings have been abused, leading to
anti-social behaviour and often damage at the premises.

Inspector Ed Brown, from Norfolk Constabulary s licensing team,
said: “There s been several occasions where venues have been hired
last minute for music based events, only for large numbers of
people to arrive after hearing about the event through social media
or text messages, overwhelming the premises.

This has led to police
being called, often by venue operators, to deal with the fallout
from anti-social behaviour and noise nuisance.

“We re urging managers and licensees to make sure they are
confident the event booking is legitimate and that the names and
addresses provided are genuine. Operators should ensure there are
sufficient measures in place so an event runs trouble-free and in
accordance with the law. The Constabulary will not tolerate some of
the freedoms associated with free parties such as drug use,
underage alcohol consumption and drunkenness occurring at licensed
premises

Members of the public are being invited to quiz senior police
officers about how and why the police tackle illegal music events.

Ch Supt Nick Davison and Insp Ed Brown will take part in the live
web chat on Monday 25 November at 7pm hosted on the Norfolk Police
website.

Ch Supt Davison said: “There s been a great deal of commentary
on social media recently concerning these events.

This is a subject
that people are clearly passionate about and this online discussion
will give everyone event-goers, promoters, license holders, land
owners and local residents the chance to discuss and offer further
views that we can take into account.

The live web chat will be hosted on the Norfolk Police website
from 7pm questions can be sent to communications@norfolk.pnn.police.uk
prior to the chat.

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