100 people attend illegal rave in Walsall warehouse
Around 100 people were found partying at an illegal rave in a disused warehouse in Walsall.
The event was discovered by officers from West Midlands Police in an abandoned building in Portland Street on Saturday.
People were seen queuing to get into the building where loud music could be heard and a trailer selling food had been set up.
Senior officers have now reminded people that illegal raves are "unacceptable" during a pandemic where large gatherings have been banned to stop the virus spreading.
The rave was discovered when the St Matthew's neighbourhood team spotted a number of cars and people while out on patrol in the town centre at around 9:30pm on Saturday.
When they noticed the police, the people quickly ran through a metal gate and into the warehouse site, West Midlands Police said.
The group was dispersed but the only person arrested was a 31-year-old man wanted for an unrelated offence. He was taken into custody and has since been released with no further action.
It comes weeks after West Midlands and Staffordshire police forces broke up several illegal raves across the region once lockdown rules eased – arresting a number of people.
Inspector Tony Eustace, responsible for policing in Walsall, said: "We’ve been warning anyone planning to attend illegal raves not to do so.
"They are unacceptable and illegal, particularly during the pandemic where large gatherings are banned to help stop the spread of a killer virus.
"Fortunately the team spotted it and were able to close it down before it was fully underway.
"We’ve taken details of those in attendance and have warned them about the dangers in doing so, and that they could face enforcement and receive a criminal record. It’s really not worth the risk.
"We’ve received lots of information from our communities about these events in Walsall over the past few weeks and have been able to disperse many.
"Please keep that information coming, we really need your help. The key to stopping these events is early intelligence from you."
If you suspect a rave or illegal gathering is being organised contact police on Live Chat on west-midlands.police.uk or call 101.
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