Rave ‘disaster waiting to happen’
By thisisessex – Monday 09 July 2001
An illegal rave attracted up to 400 partygoers to deserted and derelict warehouses to dance.
It was broken up by police without arrests, scuffles or injuries.
But police say there was “a disaster waiting to happen” at the party as there were no fire exits and giant holes in the floors of the empty industrial buildings.
The rave was held late Saturday night and the early hours of yesterday morning at the former Mansell Bonded Fabrics building and the fisheries building at Hythe Quay, Colchester.
A member of the public told police of the party at just before midnight, and the Essex force support unit was alerted to provide back-up if there was trouble.
Sgt Rennie Chivers, of Colchester police, said the caller also reported smoke coming from the building, but after further investigations officers concluded the fumes had probably come from a dry-ice machine owned by organisers.
He added: “A doorman was spoken to and said there were 400 people in the building. The event was in an empty factory. It is believed ravers entered as trespassers by breaking windows on the ground floor.
“The premises were actually cleared at about 2am. The organisers left and said they were going to find an alternative venue and were taking their equipment with them.
“It does put a strain on our resources and will affect the general policing in the rest of Colchester.”
Sgt Chivers said: “Potentially, there was a disaster waiting to happen. It was important the thing came to a close as soon as possible and as peacefully as possible – and it would appear that is exactly what happened.”
Saturday’s rave is the second such event in the Colchester area in the last fortnight. Police were inundated with calls about a party in Hall Road, Copford, on June 24.
One of the organising team behind both parties, who did not wish to be named, spoke to the Evening Gazette yesterday. He said: “The police rushed the place. They came in, told everyone to leave, and searched the building.”
The organiser said police claims that the buildings were death-traps were unfounded, and measures were put in place to make sure no partygoers went near the holes in the floor.