Up to 700 people at illegal rave on Yate industrial estate
POLICE say several officers were injured as they responded to an illegal rave attended by up to 700 people on an industrial estate in Yate overnight.
Police say people at the rave, on the Stover Trading Estate, were "violent" towards officers who were called in shortly after 10.30pm on Saturday, throwing bottles and burning spray cans at them.
They said several officers had been assaulted and injured but had stayed on duty.
Two people have been arrested and were in police custody at lunchtime today.
People living nearby reported that Stover Road and North Road, either side of the trading estate, had been closed off overnight, while cars had been parked at the side of Badminton Road as far away as Coalpit Heath by those attending the rave.
There were also reports of crowds of people around Stover Road and Yate railway station, and large numbers of taxis going to and from the site to drop off and pick up party-goers.
Residents reported fireworks being let off at 3am, with music still being heard at around 9am and people still leaving the site around 11am.
Overnight police reported that people at the scene had been "violent towards officers".
In an update at 12.30pm today, an Avon and Somerset police spokesperson said officers were continuing to deal with the event.
The spokesperson said: "At approximately 10.35pm last night we received our first call from a member of the public alerting us to the event at a warehouse in Yate.
"Officers were dispatched immediately, with the first ones on the scene within 12 minutes of the initial call.
"On arrival, those officers found a number of vehicles and several hundred people already at the site and a dispersal notice was issued to require people to leave. Further units were deployed to the area from our dedicated team on shift to deal with any unlicensed events of this nature.
"Roads approaching the area were closed to prevent more people reaching the site by car but large numbers of people continued to arrive on foot from several different directions.
"A number of the people being prevented from entering the premises became hostile towards the police.
"Items, including lit spray cans and bottles, were thrown at police, some of whom were injured but remained on duty.
"A secure cordon was put in place by 4am, but it is estimated that approximately 500-700 people were on site. While a number of people have left, it is believed a significant number remain within the premises."
Police said electricity supplier Western Power had cut power to the building but the rave's organisers were using "an alternative source" of power.
The spokesperson said the force was calling on "additional resources" from neighbouring forces to help "bring the event to a close as soon as possible and safely disperse those remaining on site".
Chief Inspector Mark Runacres said: “This has been an incredibly challenging operation, with a large number of people in a confined space and several officers being assaulted.
“We are working with neighbouring forces and the ambulance service to look to bring this event to a close in a controlled way that does not jeopardise the safety of people in the area.
“We’re sorry for the disruption caused by the selfish actions of the organisers of this event and those attending. This unlicensed event was organised in secret, despite people being fully aware of the ongoing risk to public health due to COVID-19. Their actions were wholly irresponsible and I am sure will disgust the overwhelming majority of people who are making huge sacrifices to limit the spread of the virus.
“Our investigations team will be involved in reviewing officers’ body worn footage and other enquiries as we seek to take appropriate action against those responsible."
He called on anyone with evidence and information that can help the investigation to call 101 and quote log number 1369 of October 31.
Police could be seen at the North Road/Millbrook Road junction at the entrance to the trading estate this morning.
They said they had a "dedicated unit set up this weekend to react to any reports we receive about illegal raves and unlicensed music events" and appealed for people to report them by calling 101 and alerting them to anything suspicious.
Across the whole Avon and Somerset force area between 3pm and 1am, police said they had answered 583 emergency 999 calls and 805 calls to the non-emergency 101 number, including 103 calls about COVID-19 breaches, 154 calls reporting anti-social behaviour and 33 calls about domestic incidents, arresting 42 people.