Vigilance urged to deter illegal raves

Rural landowners are being warned to be extra vigilant in a bid to deter unlicensed musical events being held in empty properties this bank holiday weekend.

Police forces around the country are advising farmers, landowners and rural residents to be especially on their guard as the weekend has historically signalled the starting point of attempts to hold illegal raves in countryside premises.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is advising landowners to report suspicions to the police if they find any broken padlocks on access gates, fliers advertising a rave and any vans, lorries or large numbers of vehicles gathering near woods, rural car parks or near to disused buildings and warehouses.

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The risk of premises being targeted could be mitigated by ensuring remote and empty buildings are secure and regularly monitored, that access to land is restricted wherever possible by the use of locked gates, any unusual activity around buildings or land is reported to the police and employees are made aware of the need to report any unusual activity.

Dorothy Fairburn, the CLA’s North regional director, said: “The police and local councils take raves very seriously but their powers are limited once an event gets underway, which is why prevention is so important.

“Illegal rave organisers have little concern for the safety and welfare of those attending the events, which also cause a great deal of disruption to local communities and often result in damage being caused to property and land. Frequently, the landowner is left to clear up the site and bear the considerable costs incurred.”

She said members of the public can also play a key role in preventing such events by reporting any suspicious activity around open land or disused buildings.