Missiles pelted at police as they break up illegal rave of 300 people

Police officers were bombarded with objects as they tried to stop a rave of 300 revellers in Huddersfield last night.

Current coronavirus guidance allows groups of up to six people from different households to meet up outside, but that hasn’t stopped a host of unlicensed parties being held across the country.

Despite being attacked by ravers, officers in the Deighton neighbourhood of Huddersfield said the music was ‘quickly turned off’ and the dispersing of the crowd was ‘met by applause from local residents’.

Meanwhile Birmingham Police were called to more than 70 street and house parties and other unlicensed gatherings overnight – including one on the outskirts of the city featuring two marquees and a DJ.

Pleading for people to take Government guidance against mass gatherings seriously, the force tweeted: ‘Everyone packed up and went home after we arrived. Please understand we are still in a pandemic.’

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They later said: ‘Most people understand why we are doing this – stay safe – don’t risk spreading the virus.’

Fines of up to £10,000 for organisers of illegal raves will come into force in England on Friday, just before the bank holiday weekend.

Birmingham is at risk of being put on local lockdown after being added to the Government’s watchlist due to a rapid rise of Covid-19 cases.

The infection rate in the city jumped from the UK average of 12 per 100,000 in early August to 32 per 100,000 this week.

The rate of 25.5 yesterday was the 13th highest in the country, prompting local health officials and politicians to raise the prospect of reinforcing emergency measures.

Under the Government’s new clampdown, people organising any unlawful fathering of 30 people or more could be fined £10,000.

Attendees could be told to pay £100, with fines doubling for repeat offenders up to a maximum of £3,200.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council says forces in England and Wales will continue to step up patrols for the bank holiday weekend to prevent any would-be raves.

Lead for unlicensed music events Commander Ade Adelekan said: ‘These events are hosted without regard for the safety of those attending, and police have observed cases of anti-social behaviour, sales of drugs and gang activity.

‘To the organisers of this sort of activity, I strongly advise that you seriously consider the risks you’re creating for everyone in attendance and the wider community.

‘There is a risk of prosecution for those who organise these events and equipment will be seized.’

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘These gatherings are dangerous and those who organise them show a blatant disregard for the safety of others.

‘I am pleased the police have already stepped up their response and I am giving them the tools they need to continue to keep us safe.

‘We will continue to crack down on the small minority who think they are above the law.’

Fines of £100 for not wearing face coverings where it is required are also set to double for repeat offenders from Friday to a maximum of £3,200.

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