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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Statement on our response to an unlicensed music events in Bristol

We would like to apologise to those affected by the noise and nuisance caused by unlicensed music events in Stokes Croft and St Werburgh’s, Bristol, overnight Saturday 20 to Sunday 21 June.

Wherever possible, we seek to shut down an unlicensed events as they’re being set up or as soon afterwards as we can, because once large numbers have gathered public safety risks can make them harder to shut down.

On this occasion we did have a chance to stop the Stokes Croft event before it got under way and we missed that opportunity. We want to apologise to all the people disrupted as a result.

We’re carrying out a thorough review of the weekend’s events to make sure our response to unlicensed music events and unplanned mass gatherings is better going forward. We’d encourage people affected by the disturbances to contact their neighbourhood team if they’d like to contribute to this.

We’re clear that coronavirus is still a real and current threat to life. Any large gathering is against public health advice and should not be happening.

However we must also consider that deploying resources to unplanned, unlicensed music events and gatherings could delay or prevent our response to other incidents. As lockdown eases we are seeing demand for our services increase again. For example between 5pm and midnight on Saturday we had 42 immediate and 53 high priority 999 calls to incidents where people were potentially at immediate risk of harm.

With pre-planned events, we’re able to ensure resources are available and put a full policing plan in place beforehand to ensure it can go ahead safely.

Over coming days officers will be carrying out regular patrols of potential rave sites across the force area.

We’d also encourage the owners of vacant properties and landowners to ensure they have appropriate security in place to deter the organisers of such gatherings from using their property.

Anyone with information about a potential gathering can pass on information online. If you see sound equipment being taken into a vacant property or plot of land call us immediately on 101.