Poll: Should Norfolk police destroy sound systems they seize from raves

Should officers destroy equipment seized from illegal raves..?

Should officers destroy equipment seized from illegal raves..?

Archant © 2009

Police in West Norfolk last night said they would continue to target organisers of illegal raves and attempt to destroy their equipment – despite a storm of online criticism of their “zero tolerance” approach.

Officers posted a video online showing parts of a sound system seized after an unlicensed event in Feltwell Woods on March 4.

The clip shows a generator, amplifier, speakers and cables being destroyed at King’s Lynn police station, by officers armed with sledgehammers.

But posters on the social networking site Facebook asked whether better use could not have been made of the equipment.

Donnie Grant said: “It’s one thing enforcing the law but destroying equipment is disgusting. What a spiteful, pointless waste. At least sell it and donate the proceeds to charity.”

Sarah Jennifer Barnes posted: “Cannot express how disgusted I am with your constabulary.

“There are many youth projects or schools that would have benefited from the electronic equipment that you needlessly smashed up then posted on YouTube.”

Fellow poster Juju Densetsu added: “It’s absolutely idiotic destroying equipment that could easily have been put to better use. You could have donated to a local youth club.”

Chris ‘Gilly’ Gillespie said: “It’s good to see that Norfolk Constabulary have their priorities in check. At least we know that our taxes are being well spent on much needed sledgehammers and video cameras.”

By last night, the item on the police website had received more than 300 comments. The video received almost 30,000 hits.

A police spokesman said: “Norfolk Police along with partners take a firm stand against illegal music gatherings. This is due to the impact and distress such an unplanned and unprepared for event can have on local communities.

“We have a record of lawfully seizing equipment, wherever this is possible and we look to ensure that the items do not re-enter circulation where they could be used again illegally in the future.

“The prosecuting agency for the offences, which can be police or council, can apply for a destruction order where there has been a successful conviction. This means that you are seeing equipment that has already potentially blighted local lives.

“The purpose of posting the equipment destruction following a court order is three fold. We hope it offers reassurance to those members of the community who feel vulnerable to this type of incident.

“We hope it helps inform the public around how the police and courts deal with such matters. We want this to serve as a reminder to those who engage in illegal raves that there is every likelihood that you will lose your equipment for good.”

As well as the order for the equipment to be destroyed, police said one person was fined £100 in connection with the rave, which happened on March 4.

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