Police foil illegal rave in Fishponds
POLICE say they have prevented an illegal rave from taking place in Fishponds.
Officers handed out 38 fines for breaching coronavirus regulations, gave "advice" to a further 30 under-18s and arrested a 19-year-old man on suspicion of organising the planned event in Oldbury Court last night.
Avon and Somerset police said they discovered that an event was being advertised on social media under the name "Bristol Freerave".
While the location was not disclosed, they sent officers to Oldbury Court, Eastville Park and Lodge Causeway to follow up reports that they would be the location for the rave.
A spokesperson said the 19-year-old man was arrested shortly after 7pm on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. He has since been released under investigation.
The spokesperson added: "Units were then deployed to Oldbury Court in Fishponds at about 8.30pm following intelligence that the area was being targeted for a possible unauthorised event.
"A significant number of people arriving in the area by car and on foot were spoken to by officers."
Police said that in addition to those fined, one person was also arrested for drink driving and a vehicle seized for having no insurance.
Officers stayed in Oldbury Court until the early hours of the morning, stopping drivers arriving there, to ensure the rave did not take place.
They found no illegal gatherings in Eastville Park or Lodge Causeway.
Chief Inspector Paul Wigginton said: "I’d like to acknowledge the incredible efforts of our officers and staff to ensure that this unauthorised event – which would have put many people in harm’s way – didn’t proceed as planned.
"We know that the key to policing these events is prevent them before they get underway, which is why we are also hugely grateful to those members of the public who have got in touch with us to provide vital intelligence that allowed us to intervene early.
"An abnormally large number of vehicles and/or people arriving in an unusual area, or loud speakers being unloaded are the sort of red flags that could suggest an unauthorised music event is due to take place.
"We urge anyone who spots the signs of an event being set up to get in touch with us immediately on 101.
"The police understand this year has been difficult, but the reality is that unauthorised mass gatherings increase the risk of spreading Covid-19 at a time when the NHS is under great pressure, as well as causing huge disruption and distress to local residents.
"We continue to thank to the large majority of people who are observing the guidelines to help protect their health and that of their loved ones."