DJ Shazam, 62 - the rave mastermind
A 62-year-old man has been accused of being the mastermind behind a series of illegal raves across Norfolk this year in which party goers trampled over private land and damaged the environment.
A man has been accused of being the mastermind behind a series of illegal raves across Norfolk this year in which party goers trampled over private land and damaged the environment.
Christopher Farrow, 62 and who is known as DJ Shazam, is said to have organised a massive rave at the Horsey Gap beauty spot where at least 1,000 people left a trial of destruction at the National Trust site, costing £500 to clean up and repair.
Magistrates today heard claims that Farrow organised at least four major illegal raves in Norfolk, including ones at Weeting and Mundford, in which large groups of people trespassed on private land to hold loud music parties.
The county has been plagued by many illegal raves this year, with only four out of the 23 weekends so far being free from unauthorised parties.
And Farrow's court appearance comes at a time when all the district councils in the county are being warned they must clamp down on raves because the events pose an ever increasing danger to the public and the environment.
Farrow, of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, was appearing at Cromer magistrates court where he agreed to the terms of an temporary antisocial behaviour order(Asbo) banning him from organising or participating in any unauthorised raves in Norfolk.
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Norfolk Police and North Norfolk District Council applied for the interim Asbo after ravers damaged Horsey Gap over the Bank Holiday weekend of May 5- 7 by setting fire to a nature trial. The illegal party goers also left piles of rubbish, including human waste and drug paraphernalia.
Parminder Ubhi, prosecuting on behalf of the district council, said: “Mr Farrow has been identified as the major source of organised raves in Norfolk.”
Farrow agreed to not to dispute the interim Asbo on the condition it would not prejudice his intention to contest a full Asbo application on July 2 at Cromer magistrates' court. Farrow's Asbo is the first of its kind to have been issued in Norfolk.
In a bid to stop further raves The National Trust is now looking into banning all vehicles from entering Horsey Gap, which is a site of special scientific interest.
Nick Champion, from the National Trust, said: “We are all for people using the site in a responsible way. But we fully support any legal measures taken against rave organisers, who must face the consequences of their actions.”
Today, the Local Government Association (LGA) told councils in Norfolk that they must act to make sure raves and their devastating aftermaths do not blight the countryside over the summer. A set of LGA guidelines says district councils should seek injunctions against rave organisers, seize sound equipment, and visit pubs and website to see if raves are being set up.
Chris White, from the LGA, said: “Some raves are nothing more than a nuisance, but others pose a serious threat to the environment and to the public.
“The effects of raves on wildlife and farmland can be irreversible, causing financial and natural ruin as a result of land being littered with human waste and rubbish.”
However at the weekend police were prevented from stopping an 18-hour music event attended by more than 400 people in a forest near Swaffham
Under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 a rave must involve at least 20 people trespassing on land and playing loud amplified music while causing serious distress to local residents.
Norfolk Police said they could not act against the gathering because it was in a remote location and could not meet the criteria of causing any distress to residents.