Two men arrested in connection with illegal rave planned for Staffordshire this weekend

Two men have been arrested in connection with an illegal rave planned for a Staffordshire town this weekend.

A 21-year-old from Darlaston, in Walsall, and a 24-year-old from Rugeley, in Staffordshire, have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance.

The illegal rave was planned for Rugeley.

The 21-year-old has been released on bail with a curfew imposed while the 24-year-old remains in custody for questioning.

It forms part of the latest crackdown by police in stopping illegal raves in the Black Country and Staffordshire amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Last Saturday, police made 13 arrests to stop an illegal rave at Chasewater and a rave near Lichfield - where about 1,000 people turned up for the latter event.

West Midlands Police has also received information that an unlicensed music event may take place in the Black Country this evening.

Amid the Government lockdown, illegal raves and similar types of gatherings have been happening across the country.

In Manchester, thousands of people have attended recent raves. These saw one man die from a suspected drug overdose while another was stabbed.

Chief superintendent Carl Ratcliffe, from Staffordshire Police, said: "I’m urging anyone who is considering attending an illegal rave to stop and think about the consequences.

Risks

"The force is aware that there are possible further illegal raves being organised in Staffordshire this weekend and beyond.

"There will be a dedicated policing operation in place, with a much higher police presence in potential hot spot areas.

"We will intervene in incidents and seek to prosecute anyone who has taken part in any illegal activity – whether that be drug supply or public disorder and any violence."

He added: "We want to warn young people of the significant risks posed by such events and keep our communities safe.

"To those thinking about attending or organising such events - you will face enforcement action and could receive a criminal record. Do not go to illegal raves and risk your lives."

Anyone with information about illegal raves is asked to contact Staffordshire Police via Facebook or Twitter, call 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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