Illegal raves broken up by police as hundreds gather in parts of Birmingham

Police have been forced to break up multiple illegal raves in Birmingham this weekend, after hundreds of people gathered in different areas of the city.

West Midlands Police were called to 80 separate incidents this weekend, including one where 300 people were attending.

A drone to help to clear around 200 people holding an illegal rave in Birmingham city centre last night.

It was being held on Hampton Street close to the St Chad's Cathedral and Snow Hill side of the city centre.

West Midlands Police have attended more than 80 illegal events under "Operation Reliant."

A police drone was used to help disperse around 200 people who were at the illegal rave in Birmingham city centre on Saturday night Credit: Twitter/@JackHadleyWMP

Officers had already shut down another event on council land in Frederick Road, Aston, earlier in the evening.

It was the second time that day they police had been flying a drone to monitor a large crowd.

Another drone was used in Victoria Square where a group had gathered on Saturday afternoon to protest about the need to wear masks in a pandemic.

Protestors gathered in Victoria Square in Birmingham on Saturday, to protest against wearing face masks. Credit: ITV News Central

Supt Jack Hadley tweeted pictures from the drone last night - as well as video footage from ground level of the rave which he said had left a 'huge amount of rubbish'.

There is no place for these in a pandemic and they stop officers dealing with other calls for people in need.

West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson

The illegal raves this weekend come as the coronavirus infection rate in Birmingham has doubled in a week.

It has risen to 28.1 per 100,000 people, up from 13.8 - with 321 new confirmed cases.

Saturday night's rave followed the police implementing rarely used powers on Friday night in Sutton Coldfield side of the city.

At around 7pm on Friday night, officers had been called to break up a crowd of more than 100 people in Erdington as they prepared an 'unlicensed music event'.

Within 30 minutes over in Sutton Coldfield, officers were also dispersing a separate barbecue - complete with a sound system and attended by more 150 people.

Superintendent Jack Hadley said "It is our intention to prosecute organisers of last nights events. All DJ equipment was also seized and we will apply for it to be forfeited at court. That is how we will prevent more of these events in the future."