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Illegal rave in Swanley warehouse in August 2017

Everyone loves a party but sometimes people take their desire for throbbing music and high levels of intoxication a little too far.

Last weekend saw hundreds of people descend on a former carpet warehouse in Strood for a huge illegal rave, which brings back memories of a similar - but even more wild - event a couple of years ago.

Shock after illegal rave in Strood on Saturday

The notorious Swanley rave of 2017 was also held in a massive, empty industrial unit - the venue of choice for such events it seems.

Police were called to reports of a large group causing disturbance in Mark Way in the early hours of August 6.

Officers raided the warehouse at 5.40am and were forced to break up the unlicensed music event involving around 500 people who had completely trashed the building.

The rave was going on for quite some time before police arrived.

People were seen running around the streets in the early hours after the Swanley rave
People were seen running around the streets in the early hours after the Swanley rave

During the raid, a large number of canisters of nitrous oxide - also known as laughing gas - were seized, along with a bag of balloons, used to inhale it.

Cash and a mobile phone were also taken as evidence.

The majority of ravers were actually from outside Kent so police tried to usher them to the train station and the site was cleared by 7am.

But footage showing masses of young people running through the town's streets in the early hours was later shared online.

The crowds caused around £48,000 of damage to the warehouse - which had just been recently renovated.

Initially, 12 people were arrested on suspicion of drug possession, criminal damage, theft, and public nuisance offences, with a subsequent investigation resulting in charges for three men from outside the county.

The rave took place at an empty warehouse in Mark Way, Swanley. Picture: Google Maps
The rave took place at an empty warehouse in Mark Way, Swanley. Picture: Google Maps

A man was found guilty of being involved in organising the rave and sentenced at crown court earlier this year.

Judge Julian Smith told him he needed to exercise a bit of common sense and he was slapped with a £450 fine and ordered to complete 200 hours' unpaid work.

Laughing gas cannisters were seized at the illegal party
Laughing gas cannisters were seized at the illegal party

The judge added: "This was massive criminal damage. If you think this was organising a party then the next time you will be locked up. This was someone’s property.

"If you keep breaking into property and cause damage like that caused here, especially for commercial purposes, you will go to prison."

To get the latest updates on ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent


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