Police are reminding members of the public and landowners across Suffolk to report any suspicious activity in the run up to and during the Bank Holiday weekend, in a bid to crack down on illegal raves.
Warnings are also being issued to anyone organising an illegal rave that any sound equipment found will be seized, causing significant financial loss to organisers, and that they will be prosecuted.
Chief Superintendent Jon Brighton, County Policing Commander for Suffolk, said: “Historically we have seen illegal raves being held over Bank Holiday weekends. Our zero-tolerance approach to such unlicensed music events, which are potentially dangerous and cause unnecessary damage and disruption, will continue.
“Illegal rave organisers have little concern for the health, safety and welfare of those attending the event; for the local residents, who are adversely affected by the noise, rave-related anti-social behaviour and the impact on the environment; or for the landowner left with litter and damage.
“We will maintain a hard line against anyone organising such events and we will prosecute and seize the equipment and vehicles of those found to be involved in their organisation. We will also seek to prosecute anyone attending a rave who commits other offences, such as damage.”
Members of the public 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. Police across the county work with landowners, the Forestry Commission and Farmwatch to offer security advice.
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.
Extra patrols are 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.
Chief Supt Brighton, added: “Early intervention in preventing and disrupting such raves is key and in the past the vigilance and response from the public has been extremely useful. Reliable and timely information about where and when an event is being set up can allow us to identify the organisers and seize sound and other equipment before a rave begins.
“If we receive the information when the event is already underway, we may instead monitor it to ensure as far as possible the safety of those in attendance. Vehicles trying to get on or off site will be stopped and dealt with for any offences they might be committing. Where possible the organisers will be identified and dealt with at the end of the event, which will be closed as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Anyone with information about an illegal rave or witnesses any suspicious activity on farmland or in buildings should contact Suffolk Constabulary on 101.