Illegal rave with 600 people at Purbrook Heath is one of 7 shut down by Hampshire police

MORE than 600 people were at an illegal rave broken up in Purbrook Heath in part of a spate of unlicensed events occurring during lockdown.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 3:15 pm
Updated Monday, 17th August 2020, 4:17 pm

Police were called to Purbrook Heath, near Waterlooville, after reports of an illegal rave with a DJ rig, tent and lighting on July 11.

A crowd of more than 600 people were found to be attending the unlicensed event, with the people packing up the equipment upon the police’s request.

It comes as officers have had to tackle a series of similar raves occurring in Denmead, Warsash, Portsdown Hill, as well as smaller events across Hampshire.

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Some of the drug paraphernalia recovered from the illegal gathering on Portsdown Hill during lockdown. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary.

On July 18, more than 100 young people gathered on Portsdown Hill were dispersed by police. Drug paraphernalia was found in the area and there were reports that parents were dropping off their children to the gathering.

Officers were then called out to a party with a crowd of more than 60 people and audio equipment in a wooded part of Warsash on July 31.

The same day saw Denmead residents report an an illegal rave featuring audio and lighting equipment on nearby farmland, with police discovering around 100 young people gathered around audio equipment.

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Patrols are ongoing to ensure everyone can have a ‘good time’ in legal and safe manner, according to a spokeswoman from Hampshire Constabulary.

She said: ‘Unlicensed music events are not permitted at any time, and large gatherings are not allowed to take place under the health regulations in place to limit the spread of coronavirus.

‘We entirely understand that many people want to go out and enjoy the summer weather, especially young people who want to see their friends, and whilst we of course want people to have a good time, this needs to be done in a socially responsible way, within the law, and with due regard for everyone’s safety.

‘Thank you to those who phoned us, you are instrumental in helping us being able prevent these gatherings from happening.’

Police have also dispersed smaller raves with crowds ranging between 20 and 60 people in Lordswood, Southampton, and Westwood Nature Reserve, in Netley Abbey, as well as Oakley, near Basingstoke.

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