A ‘full blown’ rave at a Birmingham park was stopped after police were alerted to a group of youngsters and vehicles gathering in a street.
It was the fourth illegal lockdown rave planned for Sorrel Park in Erdington – with two taking place and a third stopped before it got going in the site off Tyburn Road.
Sergeant Richard Edkins from West Midlands Police ’s Tybrun team said: “On Saturday (August 8) there were calls to a large group of young people gathering with vehicles on Egerton Road and within Sorrel Park.
“Callers reported sound equipment being present and with the two unlicensed music events (UME) or raves, that took place in Sorrel Park recently, residents were rightly concerned.
“As a result of the calls, officers from Operation Reliant were dispatched and a full blown rave was prevented. The first call from the public came in to police at 9.50pm and by 11pm, all the people, vehicles and equipment had left the area.
“This type of call fell within the remit of Operation Reliant, the West Midlands Police response to UMEs, raves and large social gatherings that are still in breach of Covid-19 regulations by having more than 30 people.
“The operation has been recently set up specifically to combat incidents of this nature.
“The operation will be running for the foreseeable future and is force wide.
“In coming weeks, if you see any large groups gathering for a UME or rave or large house parties anywhere across the Tyburn area, please don’t hesitate to contact police through the usual channels of 999, 101 or via webchat. The information you provide will be assessed and acted upon accordingly.”
Planned illegal rave was fourth in seven weeks
It was the fourth such incident in the park in recent months. With two going ahead in June on Saturday 20 and Thursday 25 and police unable to stop them. A resident said 400 people attended one and Egerton Road was blocked off by cars.
While on July 2 – a dispersal order was granted for Sorrel Park – after reports of a further rave being planned, and it did not go ahead.
Haroon Chughtai, Inspector for Birmingham East, Sutton Coldfield and Erdington, commented on the illegal raves and gatherings in Sorrel Park and Sutton Park and said: “The first two took place in short proximity from each other and I know caused great distress to the local community.
“I don’t underestimate their impact, however on both occasions we became aware far too late. Once they are up and running, it is then difficult to disperse without deploying significant resources and it highly likely that our response will create a public order situation.
“To get this right, it requires trained officers and a great deal of pre-planning which we don’t have the luxury of when it is a spontaneous deployments.
“The third gathering which we averted was simply down to a member of the community calling and sharing with us that they had heard something was being planned.
“I was able to authorise a dispersal for a three-day period and put officers into the park early each of the days, which I am confident had the desired effect in preventing anything happening.
“So my plea to you is like with Op. Cavallini, please share any information you may have so that we can try and do something about it.”
Police stop ‘125 illegal parties and raves’
West Midlands Police said they ‘shut down’ 125 illegal parties and raves, and closed a pub last weekend, as people continue to flout the ongoing lockdown rules which prevent mass gatherings.
A spokesperson for the force said: “Officers dispersed a gathering of up to 600 people in Brooklyn Avenue, Aston, and closed down a DJ party with more than 60 attendees in Ismere Road, Erdington, on Saturday night.
“It came as we acted on intelligence to disrupt other gatherings forming, including at Sorrell Park, Erdington, where we’ve been called to previous raves.
“Furthermore, The Holly Bush Pub in Cradley Heath was issued with a 48 hour closure notice after officers attended and anti-social behaviour concerns over an event with loud music were ignored.
“These followed up actions we took on Friday which included stopping a rave in Garrison Lane, Bordelsey Green, and block party in Elliot Street, Nechells.”
Chief Superintendent Claire Bell said: “We remain in a pandemic and reckless gatherings such as parties and unlicensed music events only increase the risk of spreading the virus.
“You could be putting the lives of your family and friends at risk.
“Such gatherings are not only illegal, they are a nuisance to others and a public health risk. We have resources in place to shut these events down.
“We have an operation in place and while we seek to engage and educate people to follow the guidelines, we will seek to prosecute if this is ignored.”