Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Spring Free Party Season

With Spring in England in full effect, the outdoor party season is taking off. I know that some parties are an inconvenience to neighbours (though not always significantly so), but I still take some pleasure in the fact that more than 20 years after the first acid house parties of the late 1980s, and despite increasing police powers over that period, people are still taking to the outdoors to dance and party when the opportuntiy arises.

Northamptonshire rave village sealed off by police (BBC News 4 April 2010)

'A village in Northamptonshire was sealed off overnight to allow officers to break up an illegal rave. Police were called to Kilsby, near Daventry, after residents reported hearing loud music.
A police spokesman said an "effective containment" was put in place around farmland and the village, to prevent more people arriving at the rave. Officers broke up the event, made arrests and seized vehicles and sound equipment, he added'.

Rave gear to be shredded after seizure (Yarmouth Mercury, 31 March 2010)

'Illegal rave equipment worth more than £2000 is set to be destroyed after it was confiscated by police. The seized sound system will be placed into an industrial shredder at Delmonte Garage on Concorde Road in Norwich tomorrow at 3pm. Inspector Mike Brown said; “This is a clear message to rave organisers. The date is significant as it would be foolish for anyone to hold an illegal event over the Easter period.It will not be tolerated, your equipment will be seized and it will be disposed of. These events are not harmless, they cause significant disruption and cost to the rural communities they affect. For the public and landowners these actions are further evidence that we have listened to their concerns and of our commitment to stopping raves from taking place anywhere in the county.” The equipment was seized from the successful disruption of an unlicensed music event at Shotesham, Norfolk'.

Sidbury (Sidmouth Herald, 26 March 2010)

'Annoyed Sidbury residents were subjected to a sleepless night on Saturday after hundreds of people turned up to an illegal rave .Police resources were so stretched that they were unable to break the party up until 8am - four hours after the first report. Sergeant Andy Turner, of Sidmouth Police, said: "Officers attended and did their best to disperse the rave but they were unsuccessful.A lack of police resources was compounded with two serious road traffic collisions in the area. "

Around 200 ravers - some from as far away as Bristol - turned up to the party on a secluded piece of woodland called Core Copse on East Hill Strips. Music started blaring at around 1am but the first call to police was at 3.40am. Three officers went to the scene after the first report and six officers managed to shut it down at 8am. At the time of the rave police were also dealing with the search for a high-risk missing person."Saving someone's life will always take priority," added Sergeant Turner."We have shut down several raves at this location before they have started, and if it had been under normal circumstances we would have done the same this time. "Residents have our sympathy but they can be assured that we are not letting it go."

There were around six raves on the popular East Hill Strips last year and police are now looking at ways to lock them down altogether.They will be contacting local landowners, Devon County Council and other agencies to find a "long-term solution". Enquiries are continuing to find out who was in charge of the weekend rave. Details of vehicles seen at the party have been put on the police database and officers are following a number of leads. Sergeant Turner said it could be difficult to track the organisers down as it is thought different people are responsible for each event'.

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