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Huge illegal raves broken up across UK after lockdown announced

Police were met with violence and slashed tyres when they broke up a string a illegal raves across England, just hours after the prime minister announced a second national lockdown.

A farm owner returned to find around 300 revellers dancing to loud music on the 320-acre site near Wigan, on the border with Glazebury in Cheshire, on Saturday night. The Greater Manchester area is currently under tier three restrictions.

Video footage, appeared to be taken on a mobile, shows a huge crowd of party-goers dancing to loud music under strobe lights. None appear to be social distancing or wearing face masks at the event.

The farm owner alerted officers, but when they tried to shut down the event, seven police vehicles had their tyres slashed. Cops searching the site later found a machete hidden in bushes.

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Another video clip shows a street lined with around a dozen police vehicles uploaded to social media with the caption ‘lockdown raves’ and a crying laughing emoji.

A 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of not providing personal details for a fixed penalty notice, while a 36-year-old man was arrested for possession of class A drugs.

One woman was also treated by emergency services for injuries not believed to have been caused in suspicious circumstances.

Greater Manchester Police’s assistant chief constable Rob Potts described the event as a ‘clear and flagrant breach’ of Covid-19 regulations and said an investigation has been launched to bring the organisers to justice.

He said: ‘This event was unacceptable and a blatant disregard of, not only restrictions for Covid-19 and the safety of others, but also the safety of those present as we saw serious examples over the summer period of the dangers posed by attending such events.’

‘I would also like to reiterate our message from the summer to those thinking of attending these events and those willing to drop their children off at these illegal gatherings; while many may attend to have a good time, not everyone goes with the same intentions,’ added the asst chief constable.

‘As well as being illegal, these events are not safe and the fact a machete was recovered from the site of this event is a worrying but important reminder that this very much remains the case.’

Meanwhile, around 500 party-goers were caught at another illegal rave in Yate, near Bristol, last night.

Police were called to reports of the unlicensed event in a warehouse at around 10.30pm – but as they tried to disperse the crowd, some became violent towards officers.

Avon and Somerset Police wrote on Twitter last night: ‘Members of the public have been violent towards officers. Rave legislation has been used, which means that people should leave the area, or will be liable to arrest.’

Elsewhere, cops were called to the University of Sussex campus in Falmer shortly before 11pm, where students were caught throwing parties.

Others were caught gathering in Stanmer Park later that night, where officers seized a sound system and generator.

The University of Sussex said: ‘Whilst the vast majority of our students are following the guidelines and behaving responsibly, there were breaches last night. This included non-residents on our campus.

‘Sussex Police attended and, as always, the University will work closely with the authorities wherever necessary. Please be assured that we take these breaches extremely seriously.’

At least 100 teenagers were also reportedly dispersed from a Halloween party in Bevendean, Brighton, with residents saying they felt threatened by the groups.

A resident told The Argus: ‘There have been large gatherings of students in the past two nights at Norwich Drive. There were way over 100 of them, and police were moving them on.

‘But they carried on in a big gathering, walking down the road, swearing, even threatening my girlfriend and I as we drove down The Avenue. It’s not on.’

Another resident said they believed there were around 200 party-goers who then ran into nearby fields when police arrived in the early hours.

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