Rave sparks fury
By thisislocallondon – Wednesday 03 May 2000
On Sunday morning, 12 hours after the rave began at the old post office in Ashdown Road, leased by the Kingston University’s fine arts department, the party broke up leaving the building covered in graffiti and many of the students’ works of art destroyed or stolen.
Residents and the building’s owners are furious that police, called to the scene shortly after 10pm, decided not to break up the party for fear of sparking a serious disturbance.
Instead they blocked-off the one-way road and stopped buses and cars to allow eight vans with sound equipment through and then worked in shifts for 12 hours to prevent public disorder.
Environmental health officers served notices on the organisers but were unable to stop the party.
John Douglas, 33, of Ashdown Road, said: “It was a major disturbance. Police blocked off the road and stopped cars and buses. It was a money making venture – tickets were being sold.”
Ronald Dear, director of Cliveden Estates (London) which owns the premises, said: “It’s a disgrace. There is internal graffiti spread all over.
“My first question is why police did not stop the burglary. People broke into the building occupied by tenants. Why were they not ejected and arrested?”
Professor Bruce Russell head of the School of Fine Arts, stressed that the organisers had nothing to do with the university, and said: “The university is completely devastated and disgusted by this outright act of destruction.”
Police told the Guardian they are pessimistic about finding the organisers of the rave, despite the fact that they were served with environmental notices by a noise patrol, and said that they unlikely to be able to take further action.
Chris Newport, assistant borough environmental health and safety officer, said: “For safety, officers do not confront the people making the noise.
“As far as I am aware our officers served notices on people who organised the party. Whether action will be taken I do not know. They could be prosecuted.”