Outrage over rave
By thisislocallondon – Friday 08 September 2000
Residents are outraged at police inaction over last weekend’s illegal 48-hour rave on Tolworth Court Farm where music was so loud it could be heard four miles away.
Police stood by as 2,000 ravers, many high on drugs, danced to music generated by the seven sound stages which could be heard as far away as Ashtead and drove residents out of their homes in search of a night’s sleep.
Under laws brought in to control raves in the early 1990s police did have the power to direct people to leave the field but Superintendent Keith Free said: “To eject them may well have resulted in violence and injury. The decision I took was that the safest option would be to allow them to continue and to monitor the situation.”
He added: “There was always the threat they would move to empty places in the town centre.”
Frustrated by the police decision to take no action and maddened by a lack of sleep some residents threatened to take the law into their own hands and attack the ravers with baseball bats.
Jim Taylor of Chessington Residents’ Association said: “This was absolute anarchy.”
But Superintendent Free said: “We have had a safe and successful operation which was marred only by the noise situation.”
The last of the ravers left Tolworth Court Farm on Monday evening. The field has been secured by the council.