Suffolk police issue warning to party-goers over illegal raves on New Year’s Eve

JB_1_NORFOLK_POLICE crime accident

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Police have issued a reminder to revellers who may be planning to organise an illegal rave in Suffolk ahead of the New Year bank holiday.

Suffolk Constabulary is re-iterating previous warnings that officers will be adopting a zero tolerance approach, clamping down on individuals who choose to break the law and ruin peace in their community.

Regular officers together with the assistance of volunteer officers from the Special Constabulary are preparing for the forthcoming New Year celebrations with extra patrols being planned to prevent illegal raves from taking place and intelligence and social networking sites will be monitored to enable early preventative action to be taken.

A police spokesman said: 'Residents can play a key role in preventing such events and the public are being asked to assist police by reporting any suspicious activity around open land or disused buildings.

'Landowners also need to remain vigilant and immediately report any activity, which may lead them to suspect a rave is being organised on their land. Extra care should be taken to ensure that property entrances are secure wherever possible.'

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Police across the county have been working very closely with landowners, the Forestry Commission and Farmwatch to offer security advice and ensure they contact officers at the earliest opportunity with information.

Coupled with this, community centres, village halls and other venues have been contacted to ensure they are asking the right questions about the nature of the event when taking bookings.

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Chief Supt Jon Brighton, county policing commander for Suffolk said: 'Historically unlicensed music events often take place at New Year or on Bank Holidays. Raves can be very difficult to stop once in full swing, so early notification of one taking place is critical in helping us police these events.

'I want to warn anyone who is considering organising a rave that they will face prosecution for holding such an event – we have successfully prosecuted people previously in Suffolk and will continue with our zero tolerance approach for any future raves held in the county. We will seize any sound and other equipment, causing significant financial loss to organisers and we will also seek prosecution.

'I would also stress to those people who take bookings at venues if you are approached by a group that you do not recognise to book your premises, let the police licensing team know so they can do some intelligence checks. This is important at any time of the year, but particularly so now in the run up to the festive season.

'Ultimately public safety is the primary concern for us. Where officers can prevent, disrupt or stop a rave taking place, we will do everything within our power to do this, providing that it is in the best interests of all concerned, given the specific circumstances that we are faced with.'

Police have powers, which enable them to seize vehicles and sound equipment in certain circumstances. They are urging anyone who rents sound or lighting equipment to only do so to people who they believe to have a valid and legal reason. Seized equipment will be retained as evidence for any prosecution.

If you have any information that could assist the police in relation to unlicensed music events taking place contact Suffolk Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The police need to be informed of:

Any information that an illegal rave is taking place

Any sightings of vans, lorries or large numbers of vehicles gathering near woods, rural car parks or near to disused buildings/warehouse

Sightings of fliers advertising raves

Broken padlocks on access gates, to areas where a rave may take place.

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