Arrests and equipment seized as police shut down rave in forest
PUBLISHED: 21:34 30 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:36 31 August 2020
A number of people have been arrested and sound equipment seized after police shut down an illegal rave in Thetford Forest.
Police were pelted with missiles as they moved in to shut down the event that that officers believed was planned to last into Bank Holiday Monday.
Specialist officers from across the region were deployed to the isolated area of woodland at Lynford near to the English Heritage site Grimes Graves.
The unlicensed music event began at around 11pm on Saturday night and by Sunday evening around 500 people and 100 vehicles remained at the site.
A member of the public had reported seeing large numbers of cars queuing to access a fire route into an isolated area of the forest off the A134.
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People living several miles away from the event had complained about noise throughout Saturday night and Sunday.
Mark Phillips, who lives at Boundary Close in Brandon, said: “We were awake all night with two little children. It was absolutely horrendous. I thought it was my next door neighbour having a rave. It is that loud.
“It is non-stop thumping. We are three away and can still hear it because it is still going on.”
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More than 100 police officers from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire were deployed to the scene together with the police helicopter, a drone and dog units.
Officers eventually entered the site and shut down the event on Sunday evening.
Assistant Chief Constable Nick Davison, who led the operation, said a number of people had been arrested and police were using new powers which allow them to fine organisers of illegal gatherings of more than 30 people up to £10,000. Those attending, and those who do not wear face coverings where it is mandatory, can be given a £100 fine - doubling on each offence up to £3,200.
He said: “Due to the number of people in attendance, we needed specialist teams to enter the site to close it down. Officers trained in public order, experienced in dealing with such events, entered the site and turned the music off around 6.30pm.
“I would like to thank local residents for their patience and understanding while we brought this to an end.
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“We know these events cause disruption which is why we’ve taken positive action to make sure the event didn’t go on into a second night.
“Due to the nature of the location and numbers of people in attendance, this was a challenging event to disrupt and required mutual aid from other forces which takes time to arrange.
“Officers did meet some hostility when entering the site with bottles and cans used as missiles and thrown at officers. Fortunately, no one was injured.”
He added: “It’s extremely disappointing to see these types of events taking place when coronavirus continues to be a real threat to our communities.
“We’re working to identify the organisers and will do everything within our power, where evidence is available, to prosecute and bring them to justice.”
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