Three arrests after more than 100 people gather in Great Yarmouth

North Drive

Teenager Domantas Baksaitis died when his motorcycle crashed into a lamppost in North Drive. - Credit: Google

Three men were arrested and others issued with Covid-19 lockdown breach fines or warnings after police shut down what they described as a rave.

But the community in Great Yarmouth said Saturday night's event, where more than 100 people gathered along the town's sea front was not a rave, but a memorial to a teenager who died in a crash.

Police said the event, which they described as an unlicensed music event, started in North Drive at about 7pm.

Officers attended and brought it to a close at just after 10pm.

They said three men were arrested at the scene, and a number of fines and warnings were issued in relation to breaches of COVID lockdown rules.

Chief Inspector of Great Yarmouth Police said the force will come down hard on the suspects involved

Superintendent Nathan Clark, of Norfolk Constabulary. - Credit: Archant

Superintendent Nathan Clark, from Norfolk police, said: “Unfortunately, while the majority of people continue to adhere to lockdown rules at what we know is a critical stage in our journey back to some kind of normality, a group of people this evening had other ideas.

“We’ve been here before, and we won’t tolerate it. Not only is this kind of event illegal; it jeopardises the safety of those who decide to attend, and disrupts the lives of those members of the community who live nearby.

“We will continue to do what we need to do to keep people safe, which includes taking a proportionate level of action in response to any breaches of public health, and the law.”

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However, the police's description of the event as a rave angered people in the town.

They said the event was a memorial for 17-year-old Domantas Baksaitis, who died when his motorcycle crashed into a lamppost in North Drive in the early hours of Tuesday, March 2.

They said the music played included the teenager's favourite songs, while flowers were laid and candles lit in memory of the youngster.

Under the current lockdown rules, people are supposed to stay at home, except for essential trips to get food and medicine or for exercise.

But people on Facebook highlighted how some of the young people at the event will be together in school classrooms from Monday.

One person said: "I know nothing of this family. But these young adults will be spending minimum six hours a day in classes [from] Monday.

"Is 36 hrs gonna make a difference here? They need this time."

But others said the time for a memorial was after the pandemic has passed.

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