Four arrests as police break up rave

POLICE officers were pelted with missiles by a crowd of angry revellers as they tried to break up an illegal rave in a disused warehouse yesterday.

Jonathan Schofield

POLICE officers were pelted with missiles by a crowd of angry revellers as they tried to break up an illegal rave in a disused warehouse yesterday.

Officers were called out just before midnight on Saturday following reports that an illegal rave was taking place in the old Winmau factory in Homefield Road, Haverhill.

When they arrived at the scene more than 200 people were already inside the building.

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Missiles were thrown and the crowd began acting in a hostile manner when a notice was issued to close down the rave at 1.40am - according to a Suffolk Police spokesman.

A Police Support Unit, the force helicopter and Essex Police's helicopter were brought in to support officers on the ground as they tried to disperse the crowd which finally cleared at 7.20am.

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Following the incident, which saw four men arrested, Suffolk Police issued a warning that tough action would be taken against illegal raves in the county.

Superintendent Debbie Griffiths said: “Missiles were thrown at officers and it is fortunate that no-one was injured by any of them. The warehouse was damaged and the rave caused some nuisance to residents and businesses in the area through noise and disruption.

“I want to warn anyone who is considering organising a rave that they will face prosecution for holding such an event. We will also seek to prosecute anyone attending a rave who commits other offences, such as damage.”

Officers remained at the scene throughout the day yesterday to carry out further inquiries and seize equipment while workmen began boarding up the windows at the former dart board manufacturing site.

Ian Anderson, who travelled to Haverhill from Bedfordshire to take part in the rave, said he was disappointed to see violence and scuffles at the event.

He said: “No-one comes to a rave to cause trouble, they just want to have a good time, dance and go home to bed. I wish we could come to some agreement with police to allow these to go ahead without the need for such a massive police presence. In some cases police simply ask us to finish at a certain time which we always do and there is never any trouble - it's a great shame Saturday night should have ended this way.”

The four men arrested on suspicion of being involved in the organisation of the rave are a 22-year-old from Baldock in Hertfordshire, a 25-year-old and a 22-year-old both from Letchworth, Hertfordshire, and a 19-year-old, of no fixed abode.

The four were taken to Bury Police Station yesterday for further questioning.

Anyone with information about the rave should call DI Stuart Jeans at Bury CID on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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