FIVE people have been arrested and fined for participation in a forest rave attended by more than 500 people. As illegal raves continue to take the UK by storm, with young people rebelling against lockdown rules.
With over 100 officers deployed to break up the unlicensed event taking place in Thetford Forest, Norfolk, on Saturday, August 29.
Officers eventually shut down the rave Sunday evening.
Since Friday police in England have been able to fine organisers of illegal gatherings of more than 30 people – such as raves – up to £10,000.
Officers seized audio equipment, generators, and a large flatbed lorry used to transport the equipment to the forest.
Police said five people had been arrested – three were issued with fines at the scene while two were taken in custody and later fined.
Assistant Chief Constable Nick Davison said: “We understand the disruption such events cause to local communities and the concern people will have, particularly as coronavirus continues to be a real threat.
“This was a well-established and planned event and we needed additional specialist resources to shut it down safely.”
Elsewhere, police attended illegal raves in Leeds, Essex and the West Midlands, while Piers Corbyn, the brother of former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, was fined for holding an anti-lockdown protest in Trafalgar Square on Saturday.
In London, the Metropolitan Police said it had shut down 21 illegal raves, with 58 reported to them on Saturday.
West Yorkshire Police said eight people were fined £10,000 after several parties across Headingley and Burley on Saturday were shut down.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the new legislation represents a crackdown on “the most serious breaches of social distancing restrictions.”
Police in Harlow, Essex, confiscated thousands of pounds worth of equipment ahead of another illegal rave on Saturday afternoon.
Police in England are able to fine organisers of illegal gatherings of more than 30 people such as raves up to £10,000.
Those who attend gatherings and those who do not wear face coverings where it is mandatory can be given a £100 fine, doubling on each offence up to £3,200.
The government first unveiled plans for tougher penalties for those breaking coronavirus rules earlier this month. Illegal raves are becoming more popular, as the youth rebel against lockdown rulings.
Details of the stricter rules come after extra restrictions to stem the spread of Covid-19 were introduced in north-west England.