Two Men Shot Dead at Illegal ‘Quarantine Rave’ That Manchester Police Refused to Shut Down

A man walks past a derelict house in Moss Side in Manchester, north-west England on May 11, 2020, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Police in Manchester, England said that it was “unachievable” to safely shut down an illegal ‘quarantine rave’, where two people were subsequently shot dead.

In the early hours of Sunday, two men, a 36-year-old and a 21-year-old were gunned down at an illegal ‘quarantine rave’ that took place in Moss Side, Manchester. City police said that while a Black Lives Matter event had taken place in the same area earlier in the day, that authorised event had concluded before the later “unplanned event” took place in the evening.

Following the recent trend of police standing down in the face of mobs in the UK, senior officers at the Greater Manchester Police decided to allow the DJ hosted rave in a residential courtyard, despite receiving complaints from concerned neighbours.

“A decision taken last night in respect of the event that was unplanned was that it would be unachievable to safely disperse given the nature of the event and the people that were present and the numbers,” said Superintendent Mark Dexter, reports the Lancashire Telegraph.

“We have to consider the risk of public disorder and confrontation with people at that time of night,” Dexter added.

Further comments by the top cop reported by the Manchester Evening News state that the force had been caught by surprise by the violence at the prohibited event, saying they had no intelligence that a lockdown-breaching party where drugs were being taken could lead to a “serious incident”.

Moss Side has been a hotspot for drugs and crime in Manchester since the 1980s, though in recent years the level of violence and shootings have declined.

“It’s a really normal neighbourhood with an occasional spike in violence,” a local teacher told the BBC.

“I had a walk out to see what was happening and I would say there were hundreds of people around but I did see police patrols. Later, we heard a helicopter overhead,” he added.

Last weekend, three people were stabbed, an 18-year-old woman was raped, and a twenty-year-old man died of a suspected drug overdose at two ‘Quarantine Raves’ that saw over 6,000 people attend in clear defiance of the national lockdown measures to stem the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.

Following the violent outbreak, Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes warned that the police expect more raves to take place in the coming weeks as long as pubs and nightclubs remain shut.

“There is a demand but no supply so we get this illegal supply,” Sykes remarked.

In response to the rave last weekend, the Greater Manchester Police created a task force to specifically deal with unplanned mass gatherings, yet claim that they received no intelligence indicating the party would occur.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey, who announced the operation, went on to admit that officers may decide not to shut down a rave if it is deemed too large and dangerous to disperse, as well as field operational concerns such as a lack of light or terrain difficulties.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said that there will likely be more illegal raves in his city. Despite the lack of action taken by the police in the past two weekends, the mayor claimed: “there is no question of us turning a blind eye or adopting a permissive approach”.

So far no one has been arrested in connection to the shootings in Moss Side.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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