Illegal raves halved in Hampshire after huge police crackdown

Police outside student accommodation in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth on Friday Picture Ben Fishwick

Man arrested in Portsmouth explosives probe at Stanhope Road student block is released by police

Have your say

THE number of illegal raves has halved since police launched a crackdown on the gatherings.

Police said 12 raves had taken place in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight so far in 2013, down from 22 last year.

Superintendent James Fulton said the crackdown, called Operation Enigma, focused on preventing raves before they happened.

Supt Fulton said raves were not only noisy, but often also resulted in damage to private property.

‘The damage that can be caused to premises can sometimes cost thousands to clean up,’ he said.

Supt Fulton said rave-goers faced dangers including accidents and drug overdoses.

‘These are unsafe events in an unregulated and unsupervised environment,’ he said.

Three arrests have been made at raves so far this year. Police broke up nine of the 12 raves soon after they started and equipment was seized at the other three.

Supt Fulton said the crackdown would continue into next year.

‘Anyone thinking about organising an illegal rave should know that we will continue to take a robust approach and that our officers will be seizing even more equipment in 2014 if organisers fail to heed the warnings,’ he said.

Measures to prevent raves have included visits to landowners to offer advice on securing their properties and issuing warning letters to the owners of vehicles attending rave sites.