Police want Norfolk public to be ‘extra eyes and ears’ to stop bank holiday raves

Police work to shut down a rave in Hilborough, near Swaffham. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Police work to shut down a rave in Hilborough, near Swaffham. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

The public in Norfolk have been urged to act as “extra eyes and ears” to help shut down illegal raves and unlicensed music events this bank holiday weekend.

Assistant chief constable Nick Davison. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Assistant chief constable Nick Davison. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk police are ready to use new powers which means officers can fine people attending such events £100 and organisers can be hit with fines of £10,000.

The tougher penalties have been brought in to target serious breaches of public health regulations, which were introduced to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Norfolk Constabulary chiefs said they are ready to use the new penalties, alongside existing laws, where evidence is available.

But they said they need the public’s help to quickly shut down any illegal raves or unlicensed music events which crop up in Norfolk this weekend.

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Assistant chief constable Nick Davison said: “Historically, we have seen illegal raves and unlicensed music events held over bank holiday weekends so we’re keen for the public and landowners to be our extra eyes and ears this weekend.

“Coronavirus is still with us and continues to be a real threat, which young people are not immune from.

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“Raves and unlicensed music events are not only illegal and unsafe, but such events carry a significant risk of transmitting the virus. We would urge people to think twice before attending such events.”

He said members of the public, including landowners have a key role to play in disrupting such events, by telling the police about activity around open land or disused buildings.

Mr Davison urged people to report information such as: loud music and lights; sightings of vans, lorries or large numbers of vehicles gathering near woods, rural car parks or empty buildings; fliers or social media posts advertising raves and broken padlocks on access gates.

He said: “Early intervention in preventing and disrupting such raves is key and in the past the vigilance and response from the public has been extremely useful.

“If we receive the information when the event is already underway, we may instead monitor it to ensure as far as possible the safety of those in attendance.

“Vehicles trying to get on or off site will be stopped and dealt with for any offences they might be committing. Officers will not be afraid to use the powers available to them.”

Last Sunday, police discovered approximately 70 people on land near to Bawsey Pits, at Ashwicken, in the early stages of an unlicensed music event.

Police blocked off roads around the site before officers went on to the site at about 3am. Police ordered the music be switched off at 3.15am.

Generators and sound equipment were seized and a 31-year-old man from King’s Lynn was arrested on suspicion of organising the event.

Anyone with information about an event or suspicious activity on farmland or in buildings should contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101.

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