Five people arrested as police shut down ‘illegal rave’ at abandoned farm in North Weald – Essex Live
A number of people have been arrested and given fines for attending an unlicensed music event last night (Saturday, November 21).
Essex Police received intelligence about an event planned in the CM16 postcode and put in place a dispersal order covering parts of Epping, Theydon Bois, Thornwood, North Weald Bassett, and Epping Green.
At around 11pm officers were called to a location in High Road, North Weald following reports of a large number of people there which was a clear and blatant breach of the Government’s COVID-19 regulations.
They found an unlicensed music event taking place in an abandoned farm building and took action to break it up and disperse those there.
Five people – men aged between 19 and 27 from Kent and London – were arrested on suspicion of offences under the Coronavirus Act.
Meanwhile 12 others were fined, and sound equipment and a generator was seized.
The event was shut down by the early hours of Sunday morning and officers stayed in the area to maintain a visible presence and deter people from coming back.
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“We all have a personal responsibility to keep each other safe”
Superintendent Richard Melton described the event as a “clear and blatant breach of the Government’s COVID-19 regulations”.
He said: “As well as the risk of spreading COVID-19, going to unlicensed music events risks your welfare through the drug taking and violence we know takes place and you could be targeted by criminals we know go to them.
“Our approach has always been to engage with people, explain the regulations, and encourage them to do the right thing.
“If that’s not successful, and it’s necessary and appropriate to do so, we’ll then take enforcement action.
“I appreciate these are challenging times for everyone but we all have a personal responsibility to keep each other safe.
“Where our officers have attend and deal with blatant breaches like this, it takes them away from being able to tackle other issues and affects our ability to respond to other incidents.
“Most people in Essex continue to do the right thing and I want to thank you for that. Following the regulations means we can do what we do best – help people, keep people safe, and catch criminals.”