Organiser of Yate illegal rave fined £10,000 for COVID-19 breach
THE organiser of an illegal rave at a Yate warehouse has been fined £10,000 for breaching coronavirus restrictions.
Police said the man, who has not been named but is in his 30s, was arrested after being seen appearing to clear away music equipment at the event, which took place in a building on Millbrook Road on the Stover Trading Estate between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
An Avon and Somerset force spokesperson said: "Detectives have since been working around the clock to secure sufficient evidence to issue the £10,000 fine against him, which he was issued with this afternoon. Failure to pay the fine could resort in court action."
The fine for breaching COVID-19 restrictions is one of a number of offences being investigated after the rave, which was attended by around 700 people and saw what chief constable Andy Marsh described as "appalling violence and hostility" against officers who were called in after a complaint from a member of the public.
Police say that eight people, aged 17 to 33, were arrested on suspicion of crimes including violent disorder and assaulting an emergency worker.
They say they are continuing enquiries to identify any other offences and individuals involved.
Mr Marsh said: “This was a blatant breach of the current COVID-19 regulations and issuing the maximum possible fine under that legislation shows our robust approach to enforcing the law against those who selfishly fail to show any personal or collective responsibility when it comes to the scenes witnessed over the weekend.
“It is hard to adequately explain how reckless it was to organise an unlicensed music event during the midst of a pandemic that has claimed so many lives.
"We are facing a moment in this pandemic when scientists and medics and warning of the grave risks and consequences of not controlling the virus.
"Millions of people across the country are making sacrifices every day to protect the NHS, while key workers are doing shifts around the clock to help their communities.
“Yet those involved in this event acted criminally and disgracefully, with no thought for anyone other than themselves. It was deliberately organised in secret, with complete disregard to the current situation the country is facing at the moment.
"Furthermore the appalling violence and hostility shown towards the police, the like of which I've rarely seen in my policing career, was wholly unacceptable and reprehensible.
“We’re thankful none of the officers were seriously hurt and that’s in no small part down to the skill of the team on the ground and those working across the force over the weekend.
“We’ve set up an investigation team in response to what happened at the weekend.
“Given the large-scale nature of the operation to deal with the event, there is a lot of information we have obtained that that team needs to go through. This includes taking more statements and continuing to review footage captured by officers’ body worn cameras.
“This work will continue apace as we seek to bring those responsible to justice.
“I would still however urge anyone with footage or information about the incident to get in contact with us if they haven’t already.
"What may seem like a small detail may have a significant impact on our investigation.”
Police are asking anyone with information to call 101 and quote the crime reference number 5220 246 954, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.