Police prepare to 'prevent and distrupt' illegal raves this weekend

Dartmoor - Photo Credit: WASD
(Last Updated On: August 19, 2014)

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Devon and Cornwall Police have said the are preparing to ‘prevent and distrupt’ illegal race activity across Devon and Cornwall over the Bank Holiday weekend.In the past Bellever (Dartmoor, Devon) and Davidstowe (Cornawall) in particular, have encountered problems in the summer months
Each year police have to remove a number of illegal raves which diverts valuable resources away from regular policing and has a damaging impact on the affected communities and the local environment.

As part of Operation Derig, beginning on Friday 22nd August, dedicated officers will patrol potential areas which are at risk to illegal gatherings over the weekend.

Derig is an intelligence-led operation which builds on a successful series of similar operations throughout 2013. The Force has spent considerable time engaging with local communities which have been previously affected by illegal gatherings.

In addition, partner agencies including the National Park, Forestry Commission, Environmental Health, and Southwest Lakes Trust have shared information to help prevent recurrence.

Superintendent Craig Downham explained: “Safety regulations used at all public events were introduced to ensure safety of those attending, yet illegal raves do not follow any guidance.

“These types of unregulated events are not only dangerous to those attending but cause disruption to people who live nearby.

“We have seen incidents where people have got lost in poor weather in very remote areas and come to harm, as well as people attending suffering medical episodes and in need of medical attention – yet due to terrain and the poor management of the rave site it is extremely difficult for police and other emergency services to respond.”

Superintendent Craig Downham added: “We will take positive action regarding criminal activity and identify and target organisers. We can seize any equipment associated with the activity and take positive action against those suspected of offences such as drink-driving and drug possession.

“We also appeal to members of the public to keep us informed to help disrupt any illegal raves as early intervention is key; accurate and timely information can allow us to close down an event before it has even started.”

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