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Police crackdown on illegal raves over bank holiday weekend
10:06am Friday 23rd August 2013 in Devon
Rave patrols will be out in force this weekend as police step up efforts to prevent or disrupt organised illegal parties.
Operation Derig will run throughout this August Bank Holiday weekend with intelligence - led operations patroling potential areas of risk.
A spokesman said: "Each year in Devon and Cornwall a significant police resource is required to respond and manage the removal of a number of illegal raves. This diverts valuable resources away from regular policing and has a damaging impact on the affected communities and the immediate local environment.
"In order to address this issue, the Force has mounted under Operation Derig aimed at preventing or disrupting illegal rave events in Devon & Cornwall.
"Dedicated officers have throughout the spring and summer months patrolled potential areas of risk to illegal gatherings in order to provide a timely response and prevent such events from taking place.
The next of these dedicated patrols will take place this weekend.
The force works with partner agencies including the National Park, Forestry Commission, Environmental Health, and Southwest Lakes Trust aimed at sharing information and preventing similar events in the future.
Detective Superintendent Glen Mayhew said: “Whilst illegal raves tend to occur in the remote areas, they have an impact on local residents and others who look to make use of these areas for leisure activities.
“The raves are illegal as they are not only very disruptive but they present dangers to those who attend.
“Safety regulations used at all public events were introduced to ensure safety of those attending, yet illegal raves do not follow any guidance.
“We have seen incidents where people have got lost in poor weather in very remote areas and come to harm, as well as people attending suffering medical episodes and in need of medial attention – yet due to terrain and the management of the rave site it is extremely difficult for Police and other emergency services to respond to calls.”
“During previous illegal raves, we have arrested people connected with the organised sale of illegal drugs as well as drink driving and criminal damage.
“We will not shy away from using all appropriate legislation to prevent such events and where a rave has been established we will look to seize sound equipment.
“Investigations will be conducted against the organisers who could be liable for criminal and civil offences.
“The key to preventing illegal raves is an early notification from the public.
“ If anyone suspects people are visiting a particular area with a view to planning an illegal gathering, or they see the site being set up then please ring the police as it is more effective to prevent raves taking place rather than trying to stop them when they are in full swing.
“We would actively encourage members of the public to report any illegal gatherings as soon as possible in order that the Police may prevent them from taking place.
“We will take this robust action not only to prevent the disruption to the community but also to ensure the safety of those who may otherwise put themselves in danger by attending such an event”.
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