Thirteen arrested after police crack down on illegal raves at region's beauty spots
Thirteen have been arrested after a police crackdown on illegal raves across the Black Country and Staffordshire this weekend.
Officers from both West Midlands Police and Staffordshire Police were out in force on Saturday night, doing "all they can" to stop the illegal events from taking place.
Staffordshire Police arrested five men – aged between 19 and 24 – on suspicion of conspiring to commit a public nuisance. They remain in police custody.
Equipment including a generator, amplifier, speakers and a laptop was also seized.
A group of two women and three men – aged between 23 and 32 and from the West Midlands – were arrested overnight for drugs offences relating to an illegal rave in the Cannock area. They remain in police custody.
A 26-year-old man from Birmingham and 33-year-old from Rugeley were also arrested in connection with drink and drug driving offences.
In addition, a male was also detained on suspicion of possession of cannabis with intent to supply.
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Staffordshire officers also issued a dispersal order last night at a Chasewater beauty spot – after rumours that a rave was due to be held there.
Over in the West Midlands, police said they moved some people on from a remote location in Walsall – but reported no significant gatherings.
Both forces issued warnings to people ahead of the weekend, urging people not to be a part of any 'quarantine raves'. It comes after a man died during an illegal rave in Manchester last weekend.
Chief Superintendent Carl Ratcliffe, head of contact and response for Staffordshire Police, said: “I hope these arrests send a clear message to organisers of illegal raves that we will deal with anyone involved robustly.
“Our priority is the safety of our communities and we will continue to take action against those who put the health of others in jeopardy.
“These gatherings are both illegal and irresponsible and put people at risk with the current global pandemic still not over. We will do all we can to stop these illegal raves from taking place.”
He added: "We are in an unprecedented time and we won’t accept anyone putting our communities at risk by holding these illegal raves.
"We have been very open with how we will deal with those caught organising and attending these gatherings and this order will help us in ensuring those not adhering to the law are identified and robustly dealt with.
"We again urge anyone considering attending an illegal rave to stop and think because you will also be endangering the health of yourselves and others."
If you have any information about where a rave is being held, contact Staffordshire Police or West Midlands Police on 101.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org