The Somerset Guardian, 22nd July 2020

Last weekend, an illegal rave took place at the former RAF Charmy Down airfield. As I have been contacted by several concerned constituents, I thought that I would use this week’s article to detail the discussion that I had with Andy Marsh, Chief Constable of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

During our telephone call, the Chief Constable told me that the Police were not alerted to the disturbance until 11:20pm on Saturday night, which had been organised via private social media. Officers attended the scene within nine minutes but the thousands of revellers, many intoxicated either by drink or drugs, far outnumbered them. For context, over the weekend fourteen courageous officers were injured in the course of their duties, including one officer who had his shoulder dislocated, was treated at hospital and went straight back to work.

The main reason that the rave was able to take place was owing to the dark, rural surroundings with narrow country lanes and fields. Even road blocking did not work as those arriving just abandoned their cars.  In addition, the music was powered by generators so the electricity board could not just switch off the source. At the same time, Police had to attend another disturbance at the Jolly Roger in Bristol where, unfortunately, there were two stabbings.

Chief Constable Marsh said it is clear that similar events need to be stopped and has appealed for anyone who has information on this rave or any future ones to contact the Police at once. Like him, I have great sympathy for all those affected by the incident at the weekend, including the Police who worked valiantly to halt proceedings, made arrests, seized equipment and restored order. Without the requisite numbers they did the best they could and importantly, acted within the law and practicality.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance: jacob.reesmogg.mp@parliament.uk