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Town hall vows ‘zero-tolerance’ approach after illegal raves busted in Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 17:00 03 August 2020 | UPDATED: 08:59 04 August 2020

The council and police shut down an illegal gathering in Broad Street, Dagenham, on Friday, July 31. Picture: LBBD

The council and police shut down an illegal gathering in Broad Street, Dagenham, on Friday, July 31. Picture: LBBD

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The town hall has pledged to take a zero-tolerance approach to unlicensed gatherings following two illegal raves.

Police and council officers joined forces to shut the illegal party down. Picture: LBBDPolice and council officers joined forces to shut the illegal party down. Picture: LBBD

Barking and Dagenham Council’s pledge came after the local authority’s officers teamed up with police to shut down a party with upwards of 260 people in Broad Street, Dagenham, on Friday, 31 July.

It issued the warning to people who show disregard for the safety of neighbours by thinking they can hold unlicensed music events in the borough.

Cllr Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “I would like to commend the officers and police for their prompt response to what was an illegal event and a totally irresponsible thing to do.

“Most especially during the lockdown period, when people are social distancing and we are doing the best to keep residents safe, we are determined that such events can’t and will not be allowed anywhere in our borough.

A queue of traffic as party-goers arrive at the venue. Picture: LBBDA queue of traffic as party-goers arrive at the venue. Picture: LBBD

“This irresponsible act is not only a breach of Covid guidelines, it is a public health risk and an illegal gathering, and we are determined to come down hard on anyone responsible.”

The event at the former Dagenham Working Men’s Club was reported at 9pm with council officers arriving 30 minutes later to issue an enforcement abatement notice ordering the music to stop.

Officers then forced the DJ to pack up and leave, with only the disappointed revellers left behind.

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More than 25 fines were issued for cars parked wrongly, including those where people’s homes were blocked, as police and council officers worked to disperse the crowd.

Council workers slapped a voluntary closure on the event organiser and listed a number of offences which were committed and the action to be taken against them.

Everyone at the event was dispersed by 11.30pm with officers reassuring neighbours who came out to speak with them.

A second illegal rave took place in a disused warehouse close to Lodge Avenue flyover in Barking on Saturday, August 1, which saw police and council officers swoop in.

Two arrests were made and the crowd dispersed with no reported incidents.

Police and town hall staff visited the site the next day to assess it and make contact with the land owners.

Borough commander, Stephen Clayman, said: “These unlicensed events are both illegal and dangerous.

“Police officers and council staff often have to put themselves at risk and demonstrate professionalism, courage and dedication to disrupt them.

“Protection of the public is always at the heart of our approach.”

If you hear of an event, call 101.


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