Police vehicle tyres slashed and officers attacked as illegal events stopped
Police vehicle tyres were slashed and thousands of pounds in fines were handed out during the weekend as officers had to stop partygoers who were flouting Covid-19 restrictions at illegal events.
Around 300 people gathered near Wigan on Saturday night while dozens more were turned away, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.
The unlicensed music event was reported to police at 8.45pm by the owner of a farm, on the border with Glazebury in Cheshire, who had returned to the 320-acre site to find a large number of people gathered and loud music playing.
Seven police vehicles had their tyres slashed and officers searching the site found a machete in an area of bushes, the force said.
GMP Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts said: “This event was a clear and flagrant breach of the regulations in place to keep people safe and a comprehensive investigation has been launched to bring the organisers to justice.”
Staff from British Transport Police, the National Police Air Service and Network Rail, helped bring the event to an end.
Mr Potts added: “As well as being illegal, these events are not safe and the fact a machete was recovered from the site of this event is a worrying but important reminder that this very much remains the case.”
Police said a 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of not providing personal details for a fixed penalty notice and a 36-year-old man was arrested for possession of class A drugs.
One woman was treated by emergency services for injuries not believed to have been caused in suspicious circumstances.
In Yate, near Bristol, Avon and Somerset Constabulary broke up an illegal rave where some of the 500-strong crowd were violent towards officers.
Officers were called to a warehouse at 10.30pm on Saturday and when members of the crowd began acting violently towards them, rave legislation was enacted to order the crowd to disperse.
The warehouse was cleared of people and the sound equipment seized by 3.10pm on Sunday.
Police said eight people were arrested, including a man in his 30s on suspicion of being involved in organising the event.
The Metropolitan Police Service broke up 11 illegal gatherings, including a christening with 200 guests, in London on Saturday.
Around 1,000 people went to a music event in Poplar, East London, where seven people were arrested under the coronavirus regulations for holding or being involved in staging it.
They could each face a £10,000 fixed penalty and a large amount of equipment and sound systems was also seized.
Commander Ade Adelekan said: “We are still in a pandemic and it is extremely selfish of the small minority of people to carry on without regard for the regulations.
“The restrictions are in place for an important reason, to keep everyone safe.”
Fun times at a party in Nottingham city centre ended in the early hours of Saturday with the organiser being hit with a £10,000 fine and 38 of his guests each receiving a £200 penalty.
Nottinghamshire Police said the partygoers are believed to have been students who were fined for disregarding Tier 3 restrictions, which forbid people meeting indoors with people outside their household or support bubble.
The force said it had handed out 83 fines after officers were called out to a series of parties and gatherings overnight on Friday and Saturday.
Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford, who said that many of the incidents were student parties, added: “It’s quite unbelievable how some people are completely ignoring the fact that people are dying and the NHS is already so stretched with cancer treatment being halted because of the continued spread of Covid-19.”
He condemned the minority of people who “think their social life is more important than other people’s health”.
He added: “We know that both universities have been trying to help get the message across to students but for some it doesn’t seem to be getting through.”