200 revellers at illegal town rave
TWO HUNDRED people attended a rave in a dangerous location in Linslade on Saturday night rendering police powerless to stop it until daylight.
Revellers gathered in a field in Stoke Road, Old Linslade, next to The Globe Inn, at 11pm on Saturday.
Complaints were received by police in the early hours of Sunday morning from angry residents as the music boomed out.
Police attended at 1am on Sunday with Environmental Health officers from South Beds District Council only to find the area too dangerous to disperse the rave-goers.
The field was next to the West Coast Main Line and also the canal which, in pitch darkness, would have put people's lives at risk if the 200-strong crowd was dispersed.
Environmental Health officers immediately served a noise abatement notice, telling organisers to turn the music down.
A police spokesperson said: "With 200 people there, it was far to dangerous to stop it – the notice was the sensible way forward. The music was turned down at first, but then it was turned up again and we received more complaints."
Environmental health officers worked through the night to obtain a sound warrant through a local magistrate, which was then implemented at 7am on Sunday morning.
Sergeant Pete FitzGibbon, based at Leighton Buzzard Police Station, put together a team of officers from across the force, including dog handlers and officers from neighbouring Thames Valley Police, to break up the rave. Equipment was seized by police from a narrow boat at midday on behalf of South Beds District Council.
Patrol Sgt FitzGibbon said: "This sends out a message that illegal raves like this will not be tolerated, and we will work with all our partner agencies and utilise all our combined powers to prevent them."
However, an angry resident living in Plantation Road, Leighton, was not impressed with the police's course of action. She said: "The music started at 11pm and went on until about 5am on Sunday morning. It was so loud I thought it was coming from a car parked outside my house.
"I'd had enough by 2.30am and called the police, but they were so vague and just told me they were dealing with it. I called again at 5am after we'd all been kept awake all night. I don't like to complain but to me it was a real mickey-take and gives these people licence to do it again."
"Their equipment should be crushed and every single little urchin there should have been arrested. There's a lot of disgruntled people living around here and it all took far too long to sort out. Police should be monitoring these places. I am so cross!"
A couple from Milton Keynes, however, felt differently. The pair, who asked not to be named, had moored their canal boat outside the Globe Inn for the weekend.
They said: "They were a good bunch of lads and it was very good natured. Some of the lads had told us on Saturday afternoon that they would be playing their music in the evening and that we could move away if we thought that would be a problem.
"However the mood changed when the police turned up – they seemed a bit heavy handed in my view."
During the operation, only one person was arrested for possessing a Class A drug.
A police spokesperson said: "Our priority was to shut the whole rave down. And this was an excellent example of partnership work.
"We apologise to residents for the disturbance, and thanks must go to South Beds District Council and Thames Valley Police for assisting us.
"Anyone with information about forthcoming raves should contact Beds Police. We want to make it plain that we will not tolerate these events this summer. Any help will be gratefully received.
"These events are illegal, there are no health and safety procedures in place. Young people put themselves at risk by attending raves."
If you have any information about raves, call 01234 841212 in confidence. Or call anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The Globe Inn said there was no one available to comment.
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Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Wednesday 19 June 2013
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