NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales and Leader of UKIP Wales, is urging constituents in rural communities to help police clampdown on illegal raves.
Mr Hamilton, is backing a call from Dyfed-Powys Police, for members of the public, including farmers and landowners, to be extra vigilant and report anything suspicious.
“Last month, as part of operation #OpFlamenco, police appealed for help from people living in rural areas across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys, to help them prevent illegal raves. Everyone need to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour. For example, noticing an unusually high number of vehicles or camper vans and increased activity in their area”
Despite the appeal last month, Dyfed-Powys Police have since been called out to a small-scale illegal rave in the Tregaron area of Ceredigion, which they attended with National Resources Wales and closed the event down.
“Local people need to know that, over the past two years, Natural Resources Wales has spent over £10,000 of public money clearing up the mess left behind from illegal raves. In addition to the financial burden this type of activity can, of course, be extremely distressing to local people so it is vital that anything suspicious is reported to the police without delay”
“Information in advance will help police respond swiftly in the early stages of an illegal rave and more easily prevent them happening or, at the very least, allow them to take action before they become established.”
Superintendent Jon Cummins, Head of Specialist Operations for Dyfed-Powys Police, said: they took action as soon as they gathered intelligence of an event being planned.
However, he pointed out that these types of illegal events were carefully co-ordinated to avoid police attention, and organisers tried to find new ways to avoid being found out.
He said: “We rely on the support of communities to report any suspicious activity immediately, so action can be taken to disrupt illegal gatherings swiftly.
“I would encourage farmers, landowners and local communities to report anything they feel is suspicious or out of the ordinary by calling 101 or emailing email@example.com.”
Dai Rees, Land Management Team Leader from Natural Resources Wales said: “Last year’s illegal rave at Brechfa Forest not only caused distress to local people but also required considerable time and money to clean up afterwards.
“We’ve since taken measures to try and prevent this from happening again, by installing lockable barriers at several access points into the forest. We’re also increasing our visits to the forest in the lead up to weekends, making it harder for people to set these raves up.”