01 Nov Coronavirus: Police vehicles’ tyres slashed at illegal Halloween rave as officers disperse hundreds of people | UK News
Around 300 people were dispersed by police after gathering for an illegal lockdown rave on a farm near Wigan on Halloween.
The unlicensed event was reported to officers at 8.45pm by the owner of the farm who had returned to the 320-acre site to find a large number of people defying COVID-19 rules and loud music playing.
Seven police vehicles had tyres slashed when officers dispersed the hundreds of people who had gathered, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.
Officers also found a machete in an area of bushes as they searched the site, on the border with Glazebury in Cheshire.
Despite police advice, many people made off on foot across railway tracks while trains were still active in the area, the force said.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts said: “This event was unacceptable and a blatant disregard of, not only restrictions for COVID-19 and the safety of others, but also the safety of those present as we saw serious examples over the summer period of the dangers posed by attending such events.
“Thankfully our officers, alongside supporting resources from Cheshire, British Transport Police, National Police Air Service and Network Rail, were able to put a swift end to the event and prevent further large numbers people attending, as well as ensuring a safe and orderly exit from the site despite the challenges posed by the surrounding terrain.
“This event was a clear and flagrant breach of the regulations in place to keep people safe and a comprehensive investigation has been launched to bring the organisers to justice.
“I would also like to reiterate our message from the summer to those thinking of attending these events and those willing to drop their children off at these illegal gatherings; while many may attend to have a good time, not everyone goes with the same intentions.
“As well as being illegal, these events are not safe and the fact a machete was recovered from the site of this event is a worrying but important reminder that this very much remains the case.”
In Yate, near Bristol, Avon and Somerset Police said they broke up an illegal rave on Saturday night where some of the 500-strong crowd were violent towards officers.
A force spokesman said they were called to the gathering at a warehouse at 10.30pm on Saturday and when members of the crowd began acting violently towards them, rave legislation was enacted to order the crowd to disperse or face possible arrest.
Anyone who organises illegal raves or gatherings faces a £10,000 fine under current laws.
Days after the penalty came into force in August, organisers of an illegal rave that attracted up to 3,000 people in Banwen, South Wales were fined the full amount.
Police investigating the event near Wigan said a 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of not providing personal details for a fixed penalty notice and a 36-year-old man was arrested for possession of class A drugs.
One woman was treated by emergency services for injuries not believed to have been caused in suspicious circumstances.
A Section 35 dispersal order was imposed until 6am on Sunday.
An investigation has been launched into the organisation of the event.
Any information about this illegal event should be reported to police on 0161 856 3034 quoting incident number 3231 of 31/10/2020. Details can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.