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

Our response to this weekend’s unlicensed music event – Bath

We had the first report of a potential unlicensed music event near Bath at 11.21pm on Saturday 18 July.

Officers attended within 10 minutes, quickly established there were already several hundred people at the location – the former Charmy Down airfield, Upper Swainswick –  and called for further resources.

We had dedicated extra patrols on duty last night to respond to any reported unlicensed music events across the force area. These units were immediately deployed to this incident.

Officers closed off the approach routes, however people were abandoning vehicles and making their way to the site on foot. Officers were still turning vehicles away at 6.40am today, Sunday 19 July.

A full risk assessment last night concluded that the potential risks to public safety of an intervention to close an event attended by more than 3000 people in dark and wet conditions were too great.

There were also other significant incidents across the force area including 120 999 calls which required an immediate police response and the attention of our resources. Therefore the decision was taken to contain the event until daylight hours.

Chief Superintendent Ian Wylie Said: “We’re working with neighbouring forces and other agencies including Bath and North East Somerset Council, highways, and the ambulance service to close down this event in a controlled way and ensure those attending are able to disperse safely.

“We’re sorry for the disruption caused to so many residents by the selfish actions of the organisers of this event and those attending, knowing the problems it would cause and the ongoing risk to public health of large gatherings due to COVID-19. We will take appropriate action against those responsible and would ask anyone with evidence which could help to get in touch, quoting reference 1414 of 18 July.”