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30 August 2020
The government has announced tougher fines ahead of the bank holiday weekend in a bid to combat a growing number of illegal raves across the country.
The new enforcement measures, which came into effect from Friday 28 August, will enable police to fine those organising or facilitating unlawful gatherings up to £10,000.
In response to the new fines, National Vice-Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, Ché Donald, said: “Our police officers are doing an incredibly difficult job in testing circumstances but as always, they will be ready to deal with anything that may come their way over the long bank holiday weekend.
“I have seen in the media reports of ‘extra police officers’ deployed in preparation for any illegal gatherings or ‘raves’ that may take place over the weekend. This simply is not the case; we do not have a pool of extra officers ready and waiting to be deployed.
“These are already existing officers, which are being pulled away from other duties to manage those ignorant enough to ignore the guidance designed to keep them and others safe."
However, the legislation could technically also apply to gatherings of more than 30 people – leaving those who organise family occasions facing the same punishment.
Mr Donald continues: “It would be helpful if the government were clearer with their legislation in relation to large gatherings so that we can be more effective with policing such events.
“Many officers dispersing large gatherings are often subject to abuse and violence from the selfish individuals who choose to attend these, and this is completely unacceptable. We are not society’s punching bags.
"Over the last few months, we have seen a staggering 31 per cent increase in assaults on officers, who are just simply doing their jobs and doing their best to enforce the government guidance to keep everyone safe.”