Police spell out illegal rave warning
Published by East Anglian Times – 30 November 2002
Copyright: East Anglian Times
POLICE in Essex have reiterated their strong stance against illegal raves, saying the county is a “no-go” area for them.
But rave organisers have hit out at the policy, claiming officers make it impossible for them to be held even when landowners have agreed an event can take place.
Measures being taken by police include advising organisers not to go ahead with unlicensed raves they have heard about, and moving in to shut down an illegal rave which is in progress. The police are working with district councils and other agencies to tackle the problem.
But a spokesman for rave organisers Pulse-8, who did not wish to be named, said they wanted to co-operate with police.
He said: “Unfortunately Essex Police are making it almost impossible for us to hold a licensed rave.
“We have found places before where the farmer has given permission and the police have gone to them and told them it is a bad idea and not to do it.
“They could save an awful lot of man hours if they assigned one person to liaise with us properly rather than all the officers it takes to close down a rave. What do they expect us to do?”
But Chief Supt Ian Brown, head of Essex Police Mobile Support Division, said: “Anyone who feels the police are being killjoys should think again.
“Organisers who profit from large-scale events without a public entertainment licence, and the safety measures the licence requires, are putting people at risk. Essex Police wants to prevent anyone coming to harm.
“It adds insult to injury when rave promoters believe they have a right to invade other people’s property, without any consent being sought, to make money from these events.”
Legislation specifically prohibits open air raves, which became fashionable during the early 1990s.
They were made illegal because of the potential nuisance they could cause and fears about safety.
Colin Daines, environmental protection service manager for Colchester Borough Council, said the council worked closely with the police if an illegal rave caused problems.
He said the council had a two-fold responsibility, for making sure the correct public entertainment license had been obtained and for possibly seizing sound equipment or prosecuting organisers if a noise nuisance was caused.
In May, a man from Basildon, in south Essex, who held an event attended by around 300 people in his own outbuilding was jailed for three months and ordered to pay £2,500 costs by Southend magistrates for not obtaining a liquor licence or a public entertainment licence.