Help us to stop illegal raves - plea from police

PUBLISHED: 12:11 13 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010

The scene of the rave

The scene of the rave

AN illegal rave last month has prompted Bedfordshire police to ask the public to help them stop further events happening this summer. The rave in a disused warehouse on the Sandhills industrial estate in Sandy attracted over 400 people who angered nearby

AN illegal rave last month has prompted Bedfordshire police to ask the public to help them stop further events happening this summer.

The rave in a disused warehouse on the Sandhills industrial estate in Sandy attracted over 400 people who angered nearby residents with the noise.

The police were also criticised for not breaking up the event but said they were powerless because they were undermanned. The event lasted for over 15 hours.

Now Bedfordshire police fear that with summer approaching more raves could be held in the county and with Sandy being a site for past raves they are asking the public to be their ears and eyes to warn them of any planned events.

They are asking residents to ring them immediately if they see large convoys of vehicles travelling through the county or circling around towns or villages near known rave sites. This, say police, could be tell-tale signs the occupants of the vehicles are waiting for last minute calls on mobile phones to direct them to a rave.

Supt Andy Street said the force is well aware of how the excessive noise generated by illegal raves causes misery for residents living nearby.

Because they are unlicensed, raves also present a serious health and safety risk to young people who attend them.

The police say they will prosecute those responsible for possession and supply of drugs, criminal damage, motoring offences and other crimes at raves.

At the last rave in Sandy there was clear evidence of excessive use of alcohol and possibly drugs. Found were dozens of empty canisters of gas lighter fuel which ravers might have sniffed.

Supt Street said officers will not hesitate to issue organisers with notices which require people to leave sites or face arrest and the prospect of expensive equipment being seized.

"We are giving firm but fair warning that Bedfordshire police will not tolerate illegal raves" he added.

"The key to disrupting raves is early intervention. But to do that we need prior intelligence of events happening so we can get appropriate police resources in place.

"The unpredictable nature of raves makes the task difficult. But by working together with the community we stand a better chance of having a more peaceful summer.

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