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Landowner criticises police for handling of ‘illegal rave’ in woodland

PUBLISHED: 10:55 24 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:35 25 July 2020

Rubbish left behind in woodland on ER Lings and Sons Land in Palgrave following an unauthorised gathering. Picture: Martin Mills

Rubbish left behind in woodland on ER Lings and Sons Land in Palgrave following an unauthorised gathering. Picture: Martin Mills

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A landowner said he has been left disappointed police did not shut down a “illegal rave” on his property which he claims attracted around 200 people and led to noise complaints from neighbours.

Jonathan Ling, who has said he is disappointed by Suffolk police's handling of an unauthorised gathering on his land. Picture: Jonathan LingJonathan Ling, who has said he is disappointed by Suffolk police's handling of an unauthorised gathering on his land. Picture: Jonathan Ling

But, police have said they deemed the party to be a “private event for invited guests only”, with nothing to suggest the gathering was an “unlicensed music event”.

On Saturday, July 18, Jonathan Ling, the farm manager and director of ER Ling and Sons Ltd which owns Grange Farm in Palgrave near Diss, called Suffolk police to make a noise complaint and report a large gathering people in woodland on his property.

Mr Ling said the event had attracted around 200 people, who had driven on conservation verges to access the woodland near Millway Lane.

He said music from the event could also be heard from two miles away and went on for more than 30 hours, with Mr Ling receiving several calls from neighbours complaining about what was going on.

Rubbish left behind in woodland on ER Lings and Sons Land in Palgrave following an unauthorised gathering. Picture: Martin MillsRubbish left behind in woodland on ER Lings and Sons Land in Palgrave following an unauthorised gathering. Picture: Martin Mills

Mr Ling said in his mind the event on Saturday night was an “illegal rave” because those holding it “did not have permission to be on the land.”

He said: “I spoke to the police four times and the music went on for 30 hours during the night and day.”

Mr Ling said following the event “tonnes of rubbish” had been left in the woodland which he would have to clear up.

He said he also had concerns about the numbers of people present given current coronavirus restrictions.

“I could have gone up there with a muck spreader but I decided not to, at the end of the day they’ve got to leave at some point.

“I’m just a bit disappointed with the police that they didn’t take me a bit more seriously,” he said

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary confirmed officers attended Palgrave on Saturday night following noise complaints but there was “nothing to suggest an unlicensed music event”.

They said due to noise concerns officers periodically monitored the event and “did not consider it excessively loud on the occasions they visited” meaning “a requirement to disperse those present and request that the music be stopped was not made.”

They said; “We are aware of unverified reports that around 60 people were in attendance at one stage, but do not recognise the claimed figure of 200 people in attendance.”


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