Five people have been jailed this month for crimes committed at an unauthorised Halloween event.
Today marks six months since an estimated 500-700 people attended the event at a warehouse in Yate. Police officers were attacked as they stopped hundreds more accessing the site on Saturday 31 October.
Three men and two women were jailed after appearing before magistrates at hearings on 6 April and 13 April and admitted offences including assaulting emergency workers, obstructing police and failing to leave land as requested.
One man, in his 20s from Devon, was jailed for 38 weeks after pleading guilty to spitting at a police officer, among other charges. The other four defendants collectively received sentences totalling 22 weeks in prison, including a six-week sentence for a woman who kicked an officer. A sixth person was fined more than £450.
In the weeks that followed the incident, 15 people were issued fixed penalty notices for breaching COVID restrictions. This includes two men who received £10,000 fines for their role in organising it.
And a further six people were sentenced back in February for crimes committed at the same event.
DS Harriet Drewett said: “These latest sentences bring to an end a near six-month investigation into the outrageous acts witnessed on Halloween.
“Hundreds of people that evening believed their desire to have a night out was more important the protecting the health of their loved ones and people in their community.
“Some of them travelled significant distances to attend this unauthorised event, on the very same night the rest of the country was digesting the news further COVID restrictions were planned. Their behaviour was reckless and selfish in the extreme.
“Officers who attended that night also faced shocking levels of hostility and in some cases violence, which is completely unacceptable.
“A large investigation was subsequently carried out and led to organisers being quickly fined under COVID legislation. An overwhelming amount of evidence was presented to the courts, leading to guilty pleas from 12 people who have now been sentenced and must face up to the consequences of having a criminal record.”
How to spot the signs of an unauthorised music event
Early intervention is key to helping prevent unauthorised music events.
If you see any of the following red flags, contact police on 101:
- Promotional material on social media
- Sound speakers being unloaded
- A large number of people and vehicles in a disused or rural location, especially late at night
We’d also encourage businesses and landowners to review their security arrangements to make sure people cannot easily gain unauthorised access.