Approximately 300 people attended an illegal rave on a 320-acre farm in the UK last night (Saturday, October 31st).
Police dispersed the illegal unlicensed music event in Wigan after being notified of the by the owner of the farm.
The farmer had returned to the holding to find a large number of people gathered with music equipment and loud music playing.
A large coordinated response took place, led by GMP – supported by the Force’s dedicated operation for large-scale COVID breaches.
Cheshire Police, British Transport Police (BTP), the National Police Air Service (NPAS) and Network Rail also provided assistance.
“Deployed resources stopped access to the several routes to the site, and a section 35 dispersal order was imposed either side of the county-border by both GMP and Cheshire Police until 6 am this morning (Sunday November 1st).”
Police dispersed the 300 people, with measures taken to ensure a safe and orderly exit from the site.
Network Rail and BTP undertook work alongside police to prevent disruption to the nearby railway line and to mitigate any possible dangers.
“Despite police advice, many people made off on foot across the railway tracks while trains were still active in the area.”
“Two men were arrested: a 26-year-old on suspicion of not providing personal details for an FPN and a 36-year-old for possession of class A drugs.”
“Seven police vehicles were targeted and had their tyres slashed while officers searching the site found a machete in an area of bushes.”
One woman was treated by emergency services for injuries not believed to have been caused in suspicious circumstances.
“Police received no prior intelligence of the incident. An investigation has been launched into the organisation of the event, with initial enquiries ongoing.”
‘Blatant disregard of Covid-19 restrictions
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, BTP, NPAS 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.
“Our dedicated plans to tackle events like these meant that this illegal gathering didn’t compromise our response to other ongoing incidents.”
“We must all work together and continue to abide by the government regulations to avoid unnecessary demands on all emergency services. Where there are blatant breaches there will be robust enforcement.”