Police warning over illegal raves set for this weekend

Credit: MEN Media

Police forces across the North West are urging members of the public to avoid hosting or attending unlicensed illegal gatherings this weekend.

In Greater Manchester, a dedicated police operation has been set up after a 20-year-old man died of a suspected drug overdose at an illegal rave last Saturday, (June 13).

Three others were stabbed and a woman was raped after around 6,000 people gathered at two separate events in Trafford and Oldham.

The force has said they are aware that other illegal raves may be planned for this weekend and warned, "Those attending an illegal rave face the prospect of arrest and prosecution. They are utterly unacceptable and we will do all we can to prevent them from happening."

In a statement, Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey, for Greater Manchester Police, said:

Shocking pictures show the aftermath of an illegal 'Quarantine Rave' at Daisy Nook Country Park, Oldham. Credit: Lee Machin

The North West Ambulance Service condemned the raves as "selfish and irresponsible behaviour" which puts lives at risk, after they were called over 20 times to the illegal raves.

In a statement, Ged Blezard, Director of Operations at North West Ambulance Service, said:

Large gatherings congregated at Daisy Nook Country Park in Oldham. Credit: MEN Media

The service is joining up with GMP this weekend and other local industry experts, including Greater Manchester’s Night-time economy adviser Sacha Lord, to reiterate the dangers of illegal raves and events.

The campaign is also being supported by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, as well as the parents of a boy who was seriously stabbed at an unlicensed event last weekend.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:

Investigators attend the scene of an illegal rave in Greater Manchester. Credit: MEN Media

In Merseyside, over 517 Covid-19 fixed penalty notices have been issued to date. (June 19)

In the past few weeks, officers have dispersed gatherings and cleared extensive amounts of rubbish left behind following these events in Rainford, Knowsley, Aigburth, beaches in New Brighton, West Kirby, Crosby and Formby and most recently, at The Devonshire House Hotel in Liverpool.

Police say this has been a costly operation.

On June 6, officers attended an area of private land close to the M58 in Rainford, as a large number of young people had been seen congregating in the area.

Police turned away around 200 people in vehicles and on foot as well as having to close the East Lancs Road to deter further attendees.

Police attend a private land site where an illegal rave took place in Rainford, Merseyside. Credit: Merseyside Police

Four men were arrested on suspicion of Section 5 public order offences, causing a public nuisance and were provided with dispersal order notices. Their DJ equipment, lighting and lasers were also seized.

A further 15 dispersal notices were provided, 12 people dealt with for drugs offences, 10 dispersal zone notices issued, and 15 Covid-19 tickets issued.

The land was also deemed unsuitable for the cattle, who had to be accommodated elsewhere.

Most recently, on June 16, police were called to The Devonshire House Hotel following reports of another illegal gathering.

Five people aged between 14-17 were taken home by officers whilst a 21 and 22-year-old were both given Covid-19 fixed penalty notices. Officers also seized DJ equipment.

The scene following an illegal rave in Merseyside. Credit: Liverpool Echo

Head of Local Policing, Chief Superintendent Matt Boyle from Merseyside Police, said:

Forces are calling on the public to provide intelligence about any events taking place.

Litter left following illegal rave in Knowsley, Merseyside. Credit: Merseyside Police

Meanwhile, in Lancashire, Blackpool police said they were aware that an illegal rave may take place on the Fylde Coast this evening. (June 19)

The force said they had a dedicated policing operation in place and had an increased police presence in the area to ensure that no event goes ahead.