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Anger at mess and rubbish left behind after illegal rave held in woods in Vigo Village near Gravesend

A 200-strong rave which was shut down by police at the weekend has left residents reeling in anger and shock.

Officers dispersed the group of revellers at the unauthorised event in woodland off Harvel Road in Vigo Village, near Meopham, on Saturday night.

Litter strewn over rave site in the woodland off Harvel Road in Vigo Village, near Gravesend
Litter strewn over rave site in the woodland off Harvel Road in Vigo Village, near Gravesend

Roger Clark surveyed the trail of rubbish left behind the following morning, describing it as “absolutely terrible”.

The retired 66-year-old businessman, who has lived in the village for 19 years, said: “I’ve never seen anything like it. I counted about 1,000 nitrous oxide cylinders all over the place and rubbish everywhere.

“I am not anti people having fun but this was on private land and it’s clear that some of the younger generation don’t care about social distancing.

“This is a family village. We are not used to this sort of thing.”

Colin Evans, 79, churchwarden at Stansted with Fairseat and Vigo Church, was incensed.

Empty booze cans and bottles are strewn everywhere - it remains illegal for more than six people outside their household to meet up in any location
Empty booze cans and bottles are strewn everywhere - it remains illegal for more than six people outside their household to meet up in any location

Mr Evans, who has lived in Harvel for 43 years, said: “They are idiots and obviously totally irresponsible.

“They just don’t seem to care about the knock-on effects. It only takes one of them to take it home and pass it on to their parents or grandparents. How will they feel then?”

Festivals and nightclubs are still banned or closed because of lockdown.

Charred debris was left at the site as residents were left disgusted by the mess and the gathering taking place
Charred debris was left at the site as residents were left disgusted by the mess and the gathering taking place

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, until Saturday, when it will be relaxed to one metre if two metres isn’t possible.

Police have warned those planning 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.

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.

Discarded waste was just left abandoned at the site as police had to close down the illegal rave
Discarded waste was just left abandoned at the site as police had to close down the illegal rave

“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.”

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.

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

Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend


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