Police Shut Down More Illegal Raves in Forests

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Police in England have shut down more illegal raves in woods and forests this week after a club promoter predicted a 2020 ‘Summer of Rave’.

London Metropolitan Police shut down the rave in Walthamstow Forest, a large wooded area in the northeast of London. It went on until around 3 am on Sunday, at which some 500 young people were dancing and singing, keeping up residents.

A Scotland Yard spokesman told MirrorOnline: “Police were called at 12.43 am on Sunday, August 9th, to reports of a large group of people gathered at an unlicensed music event in Walthamstow Forest.

“Officers attended. Those in attendance were dispersed by 3:19 a.m. There were no arrests.”

The spokesman continued that “UMEs”, unlicensed music events, are illegal. They are also prohibited under current coronavirus restrictions which bans gatherings larger than 30 people.

Police in Norfolk also struggled to shut down a woodland rave in Hilborough that started on Saturday and went on until the early hours of Sunday, with one local councillor describing the gathering as a “big one”.

Just last week, police in Gloucestershire shut down an illegal rave in the Forest of Dean. Last month, police in Bath struggled to stop a rave attended by 3,000 people.

Raves experienced their heyday in the United Kingdom between the late 1980s and early 1990s, but were marred with drugs, anti-social behaviour, and violence, resulting in new laws being passed to stop mass unlicensed music events.

Club promoter James Morsh had said in June that “socially starved” young people are rejecting the lockdown and seeking release at the clandestine events, with 2020 becoming the new ‘Summer of Rave’.

The Evening Standard reported that there have been more than 530 large unlicensed music events in London this summer — approximate 23 a day — despite the coronavirus restrictions.

The Met spokesman had said that UMEs “are frequently associated with anti-social behaviour and violence”.

Some ‘quarantine raves’ have seen drugs and violence, including reports of rape, stabbings, drug overdoses, and fatal shootings at multiple events in Manchester. Criminal gangs are also reportedly funding raves to use the venues as outlets for selling drugs.

There have also been several — in the mainstream media’s words — “street parties” in London which saw police attacked in neighbourhoods of Notting Hill and Brixton.

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