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Third person arrested in police crackdown on illegal raves

By Kirsten Rawlins | Smethwick | Crime | Published:

A third person has been arrested this weekend by police investigating the organisation of illegal raves in Staffordshire.

A Smethwick man, aged 28, has been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to cause a public nuisance. He remains in custody for questioning.

Chief Superintendent Carl Ratcliffe, from Staffordshire Police, said: “The three arrests this weekend hopefully demonstrate that we will take action against those suspected of illegal activity.

"These events are also in clear breach of the current coronavirus regulations and put everyone at risk.

“The key to stopping these events is early intelligence. We’re calling on the public to help us – if you have any intelligence or hear about an event taking place, please get in touch with us so we can prevent it and ultimately save lives.”

The news comes as two people were arrested yesterday of the same offence in connection with a rave planned in Rugeley in Staffordshire.

They were a 21-year-old from Darlaston, in Walsall, and a 24-year-old from Rugeley.

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Both the 21 year old and the 24 year old have been released on bail with a curfew imposed.

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 had also received information that an unlicensed music event may take place in the Black Country yesterday evening.

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Police say they will use drones and dogs to stop people attending illegal raves in the region.

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

In London, 22 officers from the Met Police were injured after being called out to a street party in Brixton on Wednesday.

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

Consequences

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.

"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."

South Staffordshire Police have also taken to social media warning people to adhere to social distancing guidelines and 'behave in a considerate manner' after reports of large 'nuisance' gatherings at local parks and beauty spots around Wombourne and Kinver.

They have also said 'lots of litter' has been left at these locations and that officers will be 'patrolling problem locations' and those 'failing to adhere' to the advice 'will be dealt with accordingly'.

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.

Kirsten Rawlins

By Kirsten Rawlins
@kirsten_Star

Digital Content Manager for the Shropshire Star and Express & Star. Also reviews concerts and events, as well as writing features and celebrity interviews. E-mail me at kirsten.rawlins@shropshirestar.co.uk, or phone 01952 241440.

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