POLICE are urging members of the public from across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys to help them prevent illegal raves from setting up in their communities, at what is a crucial time for everyone to be staying home and saving lives
As part of the operation, called #OpFlamenco, people living in rural communities, including farmers and landowners, are being asked to report anything suspicious to Dyfed-Powys Police.
The information would help police respond swiftly as illegal raves arise and hopefully prevent them from happening or at the very least allow police to respond before they become established.
Superintendent Jon Cummins, Head of Specialist Operations for Dyfed-Powys Police, said:
“We know raves can cause anxiety to the community they are held in, and if not dealt with swiftly are difficult to stop due to the sheer numbers of people involved. There is also a safety concern involved in breaking-up such events. And as we’re currently faced with the Coronavirus health crisis, it is absolutely crucial that these types of gatherings do not take place. It is very clear that the action each and every one of us takes today will have an impact on tomorrow, which is why everyone must stay at home – and illegal gatherings such as raves would be utterly irresponsible and without a doubt put lives at risk.
“As a force, action is taken as soon as we gather any intelligence of an event being planned. We will continue to respond swiftly to reports of illegal gatherings, and where appropriate will prosecute those responsible in order to protect our communities. Officers will also be conducting proactive patrols of areas identified as possible sites for these types of gatherings.
“However, these types of illegal events are carefully co-ordinated to avoid police attention, and organisers will always try to find new ways to avoid being found out.
“We rely on the support of communities to report any suspicious activity immediately, so action can be taken to disrupt illegal gatherings swiftly. And there has never been a more important time for us all to look out for each other, and report anything that seems suspicious – lives depend on it.
“I would encourage farmers, landowners and local communities to report anything they feel is suspicious or out of the ordinary either online at: http://bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 101.”
Phil Morgan, Land Management Team Leader from Natural Resources Wales, said:
“Illegal raves cause distress to local people but also require considerable time and money to clean up afterwards. Given the current situation we are all faced with in helping to tackle Covid-19, these raves can have a major drain on emergency services which are already under significant pressure.
“During this time of government lockdown, there really should be no one contemplating running or even attending an illegal rave. However, we are putting special measures in place over the extended Easter weekend to make sure all Natural Resources Wales sites are secure, making it as difficult as possible for anyone wanting to disobey the law.
“We will continue to work closely with Dyfed-Powys Police to stop illegal raves from taking place in our forestry. We strongly urge anyone who is concerned about suspicious activity in their local forest to report it to the police by calling 101, or 999 if it’s an emergency.”
Know the signs:
There are certain types of suspicious behaviour that are worth being aware of. If you see or experience any of these please contact us either online at: http://bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, or by email at: email@example.com, or by calling 101
• Unusual numbers of vehicles, especially camper vans, vans or trucks, seen in the locality.
• Illegal trespassers may recce sites in advance of any rave
• People may approach landowners and ask around for land, in the guise of hiring it for acceptable activities such as gymkhanas or scout camps.
• If you suspect anyone who approaches you for land hire might not be who they say they are, please do not hesitate to contact police.
• Social networks make it easier for organisers to spread the word – rave attendance numbers can grow hugely in short spaces of time, and locations can change quickly.