Huge illegal rave shut down in Walthamstow Forest woodlands – Evening Standard



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Police have shut down a huge illegal rave in a London woodlands that went on until after 3am on Sunday.

Officers were called at about 12.45am on Sunday to the unlicensed party in Walthamstow Forest, a large wooded area in north-east London, following noise complaints.

They only managed to disperse the revellers at around 3.20am. No arrests were made.

Footage from the event, which reportedly attracted 500 revellers, shows a DJ blasting loud music out of big speakers amid a multicoloured light show.

A spokesperson for the Met Police said: “Officers were called at 0043hrs on Sunday, 9 August to reports of a large group of people gathered at an unlicensed music event [UME] in Walthamstow Forest.

“Officers attended. Those in attendance were dispersed by 03:19hrs. There were no arrests.

“UMEs are illegal, have no security, are not insured, are not ticketed and they are frequently associated with anti-social behaviour and violence. Those attending a UME are putting themselves at risk.

“As soon as police receive information on a UME, officers we will work with organisers and local authorities to shut down events at the earliest opportunity.

“If organisers fail to comply, police will use legislation to seize sound systems and laptops. Legislation is also used to disperse crowds and ultimately make arrests if people fail to comply.”

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There have been more than 530 large unlicensed parties in London alone this summer, despite the coronavirus pandemic – and police say they are responding to approximately 23 events every day.

Officers said that the parties “are illegal, have no security, are not insured, are not ticketed and they are frequently associated with anti-social behaviour and violence. Those attending a UME are putting themselves at risk.”

Met police commander Ade Adelekan added in July: “There can be no doubt that unlicensed music events are dangerous and highly disruptive for local communities. Communities caught in the middle of an event have a miserable time, with large crowds turning up at their estate and playing loud music and consuming alcohol, and at times, drugs and causing damage. The fear they create is totally unacceptable.

“What is of great concern to me is the very real risk that these events will result in violence. During previous events a small minority have targeted police officers with extreme violence, resulting in police officers being injured.

“We also have to remember that the country remains in a national health crisis. It is vitally important we all play our part in avoiding mass gatherings to help protect ourselves, family and friends.

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