Friday, 25 Sep 2020

More than 300 people flout restrictions in illegal rave in Birmingham

A 300-strong group of revellers at an illegal rave in Birmingham were cleared by police using a drone last night. 

West Midlands Police used the device to move the ‘selfish’ people on from the city centre – and say it is one of more than 80 such events they have attended under ‘Operation Reliant’.

Even before the rave in Hampton Street, near to St Chad’s Cathedral, was cleared, officers had already shut down another event on council land in Frederick Road, Aston.

Footage from a drone shows the gathering from above. 

Earlier, Police had also used a drone to monitor a large crowd in Victoria Square, where a group had gathered on Saturday afternoon to protest about the need to wear masks in a pandemic.

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Superintendent Jack Hadley tweeted pictures from the drone last night – as well as video footage from ground level of the rave which he said had left a ‘huge amount of rubbish’.

West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson added: ‘Once again very grateful to staff dealing with unlicensed events under #operationreliant.

‘There is no place for these in a pandemic and they stop officers dealing with other calls for people in need.’



The interventions came as Birmingham City Council warned members of the public it ‘cannot afford to drop our guard’ as the weekly number of coronavirus cases in the city rose by 321.

The rate more than doubled to stand at 28.1 per 100,000 people, up from 13.8 per 100,000.

Saturday night’s rave followed the police implementing rarely used powers on Friday night called Section 63 (1a) on the Sutton Coldfifeld side of the city.

At around 7pm on Friday night, officers had been called to break up a crowd of more than 100 people in Erdington as they prepared an ‘unlicensed music event’.

Within 30 minutes in Sutton Coldfield, officers were also dispersing a separate barbecue – complete with a sound system and attended by more 150 people.

Mr Hadley tweeted: ‘Op. Reliant officers have attended more than 80 incidents of large gatherings and unlicensed music events where people are flaunting covid regulations and causing significant disruption to the communities around them.

‘Such selfish behaviours will not be tolerated.

‘Our @WMPolice drone is gathering evidence to allow us to prosecute the organiser of this illegal music event.

‘This type of behaviour is dangerous and will not be tolerated!’

He added: ‘Officers are disrupting yet another ‘block party’ in Birmingham, 200 people crammed into communal area with sound systems.

‘A huge amount of rubbish has been left at this illegal music event in Hampton Street.

‘Complete and utter disregard for other people who may need to use this car park tomorrow!’

He later said 300 people were at the event.

Metro.co.uk has contacted West Midlands Police for comment. 

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