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Kent Police disperse 200 people from unlicensed music event in Vigo Village, near Meopham

A 200-strong rave was shut down by police at the weekend, leading to warnings unlicensed events will not be tolerated.

Officers dispersed the group at the unauthorised event in an area of woodland off Harvel Road in Vigo Village, near Meopham, on Saturday at about 10pm.

Police have warned against unlicensed music events. Picture: iStock / Getty Images
Police have warned against unlicensed music events. Picture: iStock / Getty Images

Festivals, nightclubs and concerts are still banned or closed.

It remains illegal to socialise in groups of more than six people outside of your own household - with those who do meet still advised to stay two metres apart.

Police have warned those planning to organise unlicensed music events this summer could be committing a number of criminal offences.

They also risk having their speakers, lights, sound decks and any other equipment seized.

Officers say such events are "extremely disruptive" for communities and have a "detrimental impact" on the most vulnerable members of society and the environment.

The incident on Saturday happened near Harvel Road. Picture: Google Street View
The incident on Saturday happened near Harvel Road. Picture: Google Street View

They can result in damage and littering at commercial premises, the countryside, farmland and beaches, while disused and unmaintained properties can pose significant dangers to anyone who enters.

Assistant chief constable Nikki Faulconbridge said: "While it is understandable that people should miss being able to visit nightclubs, festivals and concerts at this difficult time, that is no excuse for anyone who might be thinking about organising an unlicensed music event.

"Such events have been illegal for many years but the increased risk of passing Covid-19 from one person to another makes it even more important that people do not hold or attend any mass gatherings of this nature."

She said police would continue to take "robust action" and would not hesitate to bring people before the courts if necessary.

People are encouraged to look out for any suspicious activity that may indicate the presence of an unlicensed music event and report it to the police by calling 101 or visiting www.kent.police.uk/report

This could include:

  • Locks and chains on fields and private land being cut or tampered with
  • Sound equipment and marquees or tents being set up
  • Power generators being hired and brought onto farmland, beaches or rural locations
  • Loud music and sound checks in locations where this would not normally be expected
  • Large convoys of cars on quiet or rural roads
  • Large groups of people gathering

Two people are recovering in hospital after being stabbed at a beach rave while a third man is being questioned by police over the attack.

Police were sent to reports of a large gathering in Leysdown on Thursday where officers reminded people of the government's advice on social distancing - but did not take action to disperse the crowd.

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