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‘More stringent’ punishments needed for ravers who attacked police

PUBLISHED: 11:47 02 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:02 02 September 2020

Norfolk Police Federation secretary, Sam Hawkins, has called for tougher sentences for attacks on officers after a rave in Thetford Forest. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary/Norfolk Police Federation

Norfolk Police Federation secretary, Sam Hawkins, has called for tougher sentences for attacks on officers after a rave in Thetford Forest. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary/Norfolk Police Federation

Norfolk Constabulary/Norfolk Police Federation

Tougher sentencing is needed for attacks on police after officers were targeted at a rave in Thetford Forest, according to bosses at Norfolk Police Federation.

Police at the scene of an illegal rave in Thetford Forest. Picture submitted.Police at the scene of an illegal rave in Thetford Forest. Picture submitted.

Sam Hawkins, secretary of the federation, has spoken out after riot police trying to shut down the unlicensed music event were pelted with missiles.

Footage released by Norfolk Constabulary on Tuesday evening also showed one man running and launching a flying kick at officers as they moved in to disrupt the party.

More than 500 revellers were in attendance at the illegal party near English Heritage site, Grime’s Graves, which began late on Saturday night and had been scheduled to continue into bank holiday Monday.

In all, at least 100 officers from four forces were involved in the “significant operation” to shut it down, eventually bringing the rave to an end by 6.30pm on Sunday evening.

Ravers at the illegal event in Thetford Forest. Picture: Josh CarvellRavers at the illegal event in Thetford Forest. Picture: Josh Carvell

Ms Hawkins says she was “disappointed and saddened” to hear bottles and cans had been thrown at officers, and called for sentencing to be toughened in order to deter attacks.

She said: “This links in with our previous calls for tougher tariffs for individuals who attack police to potentially deter would be offenders in the first place.

“Although new rules in relation to fines for organisers of unlicensed music events came in on Friday, I think that the government needs to consider again more stringent rules and powers.

“Organisers of these events are irresponsibly putting people’s health and safety at risk during this pandemic - not only the attendees of the events and the emergency services required to deal with them.”

Norfolk Police Federation secretary, Sam Hawkins, has called for tougher sentences for attacks on officers after a rave in Thetford Forest. Picture: Jason Bye/Norfolk Police FederationNorfolk Police Federation secretary, Sam Hawkins, has called for tougher sentences for attacks on officers after a rave in Thetford Forest. Picture: Jason Bye/Norfolk Police Federation

MORE: ‘It’s become a free-for-all for attacking officers’ - Backing for tougher sentences for assaults on police

The weekend’s rave came despite police being given fresh powers to heavily fine those involved in illegal gatherings.

From Friday, officers in England were able to fine organisers of illegal events attracting more than 30 people up to £10,000.

Those who attend gatherings, such as raves, and do not wear face coverings where it is mandatory can be fined £100 - doubling on each offence up to £3,200.

Police released images of their attempts to break up an illegal rave in Thetford Forest. Picture: Norfolk ConstabularyPolice released images of their attempts to break up an illegal rave in Thetford Forest. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

The Thetford Forest event saw five people who refused to leave the area handed £100 penalties, while its organisers are yet to be traced.

MORE: Woodland bosses slam ‘deeply selfish’ ravers who partied in Thetford Forest


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