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

Police respond to unlicensed music event in Yate

There are 4 related updates to this story

Police are continuing to deal with an unlicensed music event attended by hundreds of people in South Gloucestershire.

At approximately 10.35pm last night (Sat 31 Oct) we received our first call from a member of the public alerting us to the event at a warehouse in Yate.

Officers were dispatched immediately, with the first ones on the scene within 12 minutes of the initial call.

On arrival, those officers found a number of vehicles and several hundred people already at the site and a dispersal notice was issued to require people to leave. Further units were deployed to the area from our dedicated team on shift to deal with any unlicensed events of this nature.

Roads approaching the area were closed to prevent more people reaching the site by car but large numbers of people continued to arrive on foot from several different directions.

A number of the people being prevented from entering the premises became hostile towards the police. Items, including lit spray cans and bottles, were thrown at police, some of whom were injured but remained on duty.

A secure cordon was put in place by 4am, but it is estimated that approximately 500-700 people were on site. While a number of people have left, it is believed a significant number remain within the premises.

Western Power was asked to attend and cut power to the building, but an alternative source is now being used. Additional resources have been sought this morning from neighbouring forces to support our response as we seek to bring the event to a close as soon as possible and safely disperse those remaining on site.

Two people are currently in police custody.

Chief Inspector Mark Runacres said: “This has been an incredible challenging operation, with a large number of people in a confined space and several officers being assaulted.

“We are working with neighbouring forces and the ambulance service to look to bring this event to a close in a controlled way that does not jeopardise the safety of people in the area.

“We’re sorry for the disruption caused by the selfish actions of the organisers of this event and those attending. This unlicensed event was organised in secret, despite people being fully aware of the ongoing risk to public health due to COVID-19. Their actions were wholly irresponsible and I am sure will disgust the overwhelming majority of people who are making huge sacrifices to limit the spread of the virus.

“Our investigations team will be involved in reviewing officers’ body worn footage and other enquiries as we seek to take appropriate action against those responsible.

“We’d ask anyone with evidence and information that can help, to call 101 and quote log number 1369 of 31 October.”