Police have warned that unlicensed music events remain illegal and will not be tolerated after officers shut down a woodland rave attended by around 200 people in Gravesend over the weekend.
Kent Police said officers were called to an ‘unauthorised gathering’ in an area of woodland near Meopham, off Harvel Road in Vigo Village around 10pm on Saturday, June 27.
Police shut down the party, dispersing a group of around 200 people, and piles of rubbish were left strewn across the woodland area.
Kent Police said they wanted to take this opportunity to remind people that planning unlicensed music events this summer will mean committing a number of criminal offences.
They stressed that events such as these are “extremely disruptive” for communities due to the damage and littering caused, on top of the current health risks caused by Covid-19.
Despite a further relaxation of lockdown on June 23, festivals, nightclubs and concerts are still banned from opening, and it remains illegal to socialise in groups of more than six people outside your own household, with social distancing still being advised.
Assistant chief constable Nikki Faulconbridge said it was understandable for people to miss nightclubs and concerts, but “that is no excuse for anyone who might be thinking about organising an unlicensed music event.”
“Such events have been illegal for many years but the increased risk of passing Covid-19 from one person to another makes it even more important that people do not hold or attend any mass gatherings of this nature.
‘This is why we will continue to take robust action and will not hesitate to bring people before the courts if necessary.
Urging those organising these gatherings to consider their individual responsibility to follow official advise, Faulconbirdge said these event “have a detrimental impact on local communities and in particular the most vulnerable members of society.”
Kent Police say anyone planning to organise an unlicensed music event this summer risks committing a number of criminal offences, as well as having their speakers, lights, sound decks and any other equipment seized.
They can result in damage and littering at commercial premises, the countryside, farmland and beaches, while disused and unmaintained properties can pose significant dangers to anyone who enters.
Unlike authorised music events that would normally be approved by local authorities following consultation with the police, unlicensed events.
Kent Police is also asking members of the public to be on the look out for any suspicious behaviour, and report it to police by calling 101.
- Locks and chains on fields and private land being cut or tampered with;