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

Officers prevent suspected unlicensed music events

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Officers successfully prevented two suspected unlicensed music events taking place overnight.

We first attended the Avon Meads area of Bristol at about 6.15pm after sound equipment and safety barriers were seen being set up.

A generator was seized by officers and the area cleared.

We also received a report shortly after midnight that a site in the Pensford area was being targeted for a possible unauthorised event.

The first officers on the scene at 12.30am saw a number of cars parked in the area. Officers engaged with the small number of people there and roads in the Birchwood Lane area were shut to prevent more cars and taxis from accessing the site.

People soon began vacating the area and officers remained at the scene for several hours to make sure no event occurred.

One arrest was made in Pensford. A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of a class A drug, obstructing police and interfering with a police vehicle.

Chief Superintendent Will White said: “A lot of work goes on behind the scenes by officers and staff to learn about planned unauthorised events. But despite the incredible efforts of colleagues, we’re also hugely indebted to the public who inform us of alerts they receive about unlicensed music events taking place.

“The most effective way for us to police events like this is to prevent them before they get underway – and that’s where the public can help us by calling 101 and alerting us to anything suspicious they come across or information they see on social media.

“An abnormally large number of vehicles in a rural area or loud speakers being unloaded are the sort of red flags that could suggest an unauthorised music event is due to take place.

“We’ve again got a dedicated unit set up this weekend to react to any such reports we receive and they played a crucial role last night in preventing events with the potential for significant disruption to the local community. But we’re not complacent; those officers will be back on duty today.

“We’re not here to stop people enjoying themselves. We just want to make sure everybody is safe because there are too many examples of where people have come to harm at such events, notwithstanding the current restrictions in place around COVID-19 that are designed to halt the spread of the virus.”

If you see any information relating to planned raves, or see activity that is likely to be linked to such events, please call 101.