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Merseyside Police bust illegal rave in woods near Preston

Drugs, music speakers and a weapon were all seized after police busted an illegal rave in a Merseyside wood.

Around 20 brazen coronavirus rule breakers turned up to the secluded party which ran into the early hours on Valentine’s Day.

Police stormed the rave at Whiston woods, near Cumber Lane, after a tip-off just before 1am on Sunday, February 14. 

Organisers has used plastic sheeting for a makeshift venue and speakers were found at the scene. Class A drugs and a knife were also found.

Pictures show mounds of rubbish and discarded bottles of alcohol in the makeshift dance tent.

Drugs, music speakers and a weapon were all seized after police busted an illegal rave in a Merseyside wood on Valentine’s Day morning

Pictures show mounds of rubbish and discarded bottles of alcohol in the makeshift dance tent. Class A drugs and a knife were also found at the scene

Pictures show mounds of rubbish and discarded bottles of alcohol in the makeshift dance tent. Class A drugs and a knife were also found at the scene

Six of the ravers were hit with fixed penalty notices, thought to each be £200, for the blatant breach of Covid regulations after the extraordinary scenes at the weekend.

A Merseyside Police spokeswoman said: ‘Officers issued six fixed penalty notices and seized music equipment following an illegal rave in Whiston in the early hours of Sunday, 14 February.

‘At around 00.55am, patrols attended Whiston woods, near Cumber Lane, following a report that an unlicensed music event was planned in the area. On arrival, officers located around 20 people along with music equipment.

‘The equipment was seized and six people were issued with fixed penalty notices for breaching Covid regulations. Officers also seized a knife and suspected class A drugs.’ 

Organisers has used plastic sheeting for a makeshift venue and speakers were found at the scene. Class A drugs and a knife were also found

Organisers has used plastic sheeting for a makeshift venue and speakers were found at the scene. Class A drugs and a knife were also found

Police today condemned those in attendance for putting others at risk amid the pandemic.

Community Policing Inspector Chief Phil Mullally said: ‘An investigation is underway following this blatant breach of restrictions in the early hours of Sunday, which resulted in a number of people receiving fines.

‘All those that attended have put themselves and others at risk and we are carrying out enquiries to identify the organisers and other attendees, who made off when patrols arrived. A significant amount of litter was also left behind which is simply unacceptable.

‘This is not the first incident of its type that we have seen across Merseyside since restrictions began and I want to make it clear that they will not be tolerated.

‘If you are irresponsible and inconsiderate enough to organise or attend one of these events, you should be aware that action will be taken.’

He added: ‘We must continue to abide by the regulations to ensure the safety of our communities, and I would ask the public to come forward with any information when people are flouting the rules.’

It comes after dozens of partygoers fled from a rave across rooftops after officers raided an illegal Birmingham nightclub packed with 150 attendees.

Thermal imaging from police drones captured revellers attempting to leave the venue in the city’s Jewellery Quarter on Sunday morning.

Separate bodycam footage showed officers forcing their way into the site where they found the party, which boasted a VIP area and a DJ, spread across two floors.

It is thought that more than 50 people made their getaway as police arrived.

Thermal imaging from police drones captured revellers attempting to leave the venue near Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter via the roof in the early hours of Sunday

Thermal imaging from police drones captured revellers attempting to leave the venue near Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter via the roof in the early hours of Sunday

A further 70 attendees were issued with £200 fines and the DJ could now face his own £10,000 penalty.

West Midlands Police had received a tip that part of the building on Buckingham Street had been turned into a bar despite ongoing lockdown restrictions.

Officers went to assess the scene to find multiple taxis dropping people outside.

They forced entry into the venue to find the bar before also being confronted with a dance room, recording studio and gym.

Some officers were pelted with bottles and one suffered a minor injury from a door as it was smashed open by people trying to break out.  

Separate bodycam footage showed officers forcing their way into the site where they found the party, which boasted a VIP area and a DJ, spread across two floors

Separate bodycam footage showed officers forcing their way into the site where they found the party, which boasted a VIP area and a DJ, spread across two floors

Among the chaotic shouts one woman admitted: ‘I also have a professional job, so its embarrassing that I’m here.’ 

In all, more than 50 people are believed to have fled across the roof but a further 70 were issued with £200 fines.

The DJ could now face a £10,000 penalty.

VIP area at the illegal nightclub venue

Officers also found a recording room

They forced entry into the venue to find the bar before also being confronted with a VIP area (left), a dance room, recording studio (right) and gym

It comes after a similar raid on Saturday night as officers discovered a garage workshop had been turned into a make-shift pub – complete with a sign on the wall – The Covid Arms. 

Police used their discretion to allow the dozen people inside to leave but the owner was hit with a £1,000 fine.

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Todd said: ‘Our officers continue to work long and hard to protect the public and reduce the spread of this deadly virus by breaking up these gatherings, often in really difficult circumstances.

It comes after a similar raid on Saturday night as officers discovered a garage workshop had been turned into a make-shift pub ¿ complete with a sign on the wall ¿ The Covid Arms.

It comes after a similar raid on Saturday night as officers discovered a garage workshop had been turned into a make-shift pub – complete with a sign on the wall – The Covid Arms.

‘It’s unacceptable that our officers came under attack, and that one suffered a minor injury, just for doing their job and enforcing laws that are in place to keep us all safe.

‘While there’s much to be hopeful of in terms of the rollout of coronavirus vaccines, people must remember that we are still in lockdown and the virus is still a real threat to communities across the West Midlands.

‘We thank those people who are supporting our efforts to keep the public safe by sticking to the rules and staying home. They are saving lives.’


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