Police car 'trashed' at illegal rave
RAVERS at an illegal gathering in Suffolk surrounded a marked police car while the officers were still inside before “destroying” the vehicle.Around 500 revellers descended on the former Parham Airfield in the early hours of yesterday and took over one of the old American airbase buildings.
RAVERS at an illegal gathering in Suffolk surrounded a marked police car while the officers were still inside before “destroying” the vehicle.
Around 500 revellers descended on the former Parham Airfield in the early hours of yesterday and took over one of the old American airbase buildings.
It is understood a police car caught up in traffic going towards the illegal event broke down, at which point it was surrounded by people.
Eyewitnesses described how the officers inside had to abandon the car, taking their equipment with them, and it was then attacked, with people smashing the windows and jumping on the bonnet.
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The damage was so severe that the vehicle may be written off and it was removed from the scene by a recovery truck.
Last night, Lord Marlesford, who owns the land and the building used for storage where the rave took place, said the incident “should make everyone very concerned”.
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He said: “There was a mixture of people, some were quite well behaved and some quite badly behaved. They trashed the car and left it in a terrible state. It might be a write-off.
“I understand the police car was in the procession trying to control it and it broke down and then people got hostile and the police had to withdraw from the car, taking equipment with them. They (the ravers) trashed the car.
“It is very serious as Suffolk police are very short of money and it is going to cost them a lot of money to replace it. The windows were smashed and the bonnet had been jumped on.”
He described the “trashing” of the police car as serious criminal damage which “turns the ravers into a disorderly mob”.
A police spokesman said they were alerted to the event at 12.45am and estimated around 500 people were there. Officers put up road blocks around the site and people began to disperse by around 3pm.
He confirmed: “A police vehicle was damaged in the early stages. That has now been recovered. Nobody was injured.”
A music system was set up on the site but police did not receive many complaints about noise and no arrests were made, the police spokesman added.
A resident who lives near the airfield and did not want to be named said she phoned police after being concerned for cars parked outside the front of her house.
She said the situation was “quite frightening” at times: “Hundreds of cars went by. There were two lanes of traffic outside for about half an hour. Then blokes got out of their cars and were shouting 'where are we going to go?' and then they reversed up and shot across the airfield.
“We did hear faint music until about 4.30am.”
It is the second time in six months that land at the former Parham Airfield has been used for an illegal event.
In November around 300 revellers took over old buildings for an all-night rave, resulting in a major clean-up operation for the landowners.
Lord Marlesford, who visited the site yesterday morning, said his farm manager had given out bin bags to the ravers and said he hoped it would be left clean.
Coincidentally, he is awaiting the answer to a question tabled in the House of Lords asking if there is a national policy for dealing with illegal raves in terms of police response.
He said: “It is very difficult for the police to deal with. There are lots of different places these people can go to and the police do not know where they will go next.”
He added: “If it is a party there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it. But once you start trashing a car it is in a different category.
“I really do not know whether the answer will be to have some place somewhere for people to have a rave. It depends what they do there. The question is whether what goes on there is acceptable or not.”