Another night of illegal street raves in the London area. Another bill the taxpayer has to cover for police intervention, hospital admission and local authority clean up bill. I’m all in favour of impromptu get to gethers, parties and unlicensed raves (when and where appropriate). During this lockdown it’s hard to condone any of the later due to health risks and pressures on emergency services.
We have all stretched our well meaning obligation and compliance with the COVID- 19 rules if not to the breaking point. So any chance of normality or intense entertainment must seem appealing to many of us.
A small group of revellers from last nights event, have stated (apparently) that they are doing nothing wrong.
Under normal circumstances this type of event would be held out of the way, in a abandoned industrial area, under a motorway bridge or in some field/forest.
To kick off a impromptu banging sound system outside none consenting residential properties, wouldn’t be considered expectable in peace time, without consultation with locals, em services and community groups and council big wigs. Obviously all the preparation for a approved, legal event comes with paperwork, site meetings, insurance, licenses and other staff time.
So an illegal alternative approach to entertainment might sound greener and achievable. But then it’s not normal times. What is the Policing bill for this one night event? I’m guessing 50 x Police officers on 11hour shift, so that’s 3 hours overtime each officer. Now most of these coppers could very well have been scheduled to work this Friday evening. Maybe some extra officers programmed in to cover, in anticipation of the past weekends of illegal street parties. 7 x Police officer were injured and maybe off work.
Sky News reports today.
They weren't happy that their illegal party ended abruptly.
I'm told the minute ravers saw flashing blue lights, everyone on the Havelock Close estate in White City, west London, started to disperse, spilling out into the streets.
Officers in riot gear seen running towards the estate were met with hostility.
Alongside me were a large group of teenagers, all flinging stones and bottles.
I asked one man, who chucked several bricks at officers, why he was so angry. “I just don't like the way they turned up and were being so aggressive with us," he told me.
"We weren't doing anything wrong."
So opinions please.
A) Should residents, local authorities work with the public/event organisers to limit disturbance/conflict and allow these events to take place or identify a alternative venue.
b) turn a blind eye and leave folk alone to have a blow out.
c) Expect the police to uphold the law, even if that requires extra police in riot gear and further expense for local authority budgets and Increased council tax bills.
So is the statement : 'We weren't doing anything wrong' correct?