Ravers cause for complaint
Published by Camberley News and Mail – Saturday, 7th December
Copyright: Camberley News and Mail
MORE than 300 people took over a disused building on Saturday night for an organised, illegal rave which continued into Sunday morning.
Residents living near to Stanhope Road, Camberley, were woken in the middle of the night by loud music at the party which went on until 8am.
The large number of revellers came from outside the area and proved too much for environmental health officers, who were called in to try and shut down the event.
Surrey Heath Council received a number of complaints from residents living on the Yorktown estate and an on-call officer was called to the C-House building in an effort to stop the event.
One resident, who did not want to be named, told the News they were woken by the music at 2.30am and got up to investigate.
“My wife thought that a car was outside the house, playing loud music.
“It wasn’t, but I thought it might be a party at a house nearby. I thought I’d go and tell them to turn the music down.”
On further investigation it was clear the music was from the disused building, more than half a mile away in the industrial part of the Yorktown estate.
“I walked towards where the sound was coming from and looked in to the building and could clearly see a large gathering of people and two dancers with batons of fire.”
The resident, who was in touch with the council throughout the night continued: “The environmental health officer phoned to say he had been to the site on his own and decided not to go any further.”
The resident went on to say he had received another call from the officer, informing him he had returned with the police and asked party goers to simply turn the music down.
The resident criticised the council, saying that in his opinion, the officer wasn’t carrying out his duties “to the full extent at which he should be” and questioned why backup to stop the event wasn’t called for.
Chief environmental health officer Ken Stewart explained the council’s position and the action it takes regarding such events.
“What happened was an illegal event. It was not held on suitable premises, there’s been no application for a public entertainment licence and we are seeking the organisers of the event.
“If successful, we would want to take action against those persons for organising such an event in the borough and prevent it becoming a regular occurrence.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to stop the event once it had started but in circumstances like this, unless it’s possible to get a large police presence you have no hope of closing it down.”
“We are in contact with the police and the owners of the building to make the best use of the building. It’s possible it could happen again unless we take steps to stop it.”