Two illegal raves in Greater Manchester that attracted in total an estimated 6,000 people descended into chaos at the weekend with one 20-year-old man dying of a suspected drug overdose, one 18-year-old woman sexually assaulted and three men stabbed.
The illegal gatherings took place in Oldham’s Daisy Nook Country Park and an off road area near Carrington in Greater Manchester on Saturday night.
The death of a suspected drug overdose took place at the rave in Daisy Nook Country Park, which attracted around 4,000 people, and the sexual assault and three stabbings are connected to the Carrington illegal event, where 2,000 people are said to have been present.
The sexual assault of the 18-year-old woman is being investigated and specialist officers are supporting the victim and her family.
An 18-year-old stab victim was left with life-threatening injuries, and was given first aid by police before paramedics arrived on the scene. He is now recovering in hospital. The two other men attacked in stabbings were aged 25 and 26, with the younger man arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon.
actually can’t believe my eyes at this illegal rave in manchester !!! are people living in the same world right now ? 🤯 pic.twitter.com/hbHd02hOps— tom (@tomdiggett) June 13, 2020
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes said officers on the scene "were met with violence, resulting in items being thrown and a police car being vandalised" alongside criticising the events for breaching lockdown regulations.
Established free party crews have condemned illegal lockdown raves, calling them "irresponsible".
Police initially held back from breaking up the illegal raves for fear of escalating the events to violence, but intervened when the reports of a stabbing came through.
ACC Sykes said to the M.E.N: “When you’re dealing with large crowds the police moving into those crowds is always a very delicate situation.
“The overriding principle is that we’re trying to keep people safe and we get asked quite a lot ‘why don’t you move in and disperse everybody?’. The biggest concern we often have is that if we don’t get the proportionate police action correct then other people can get hurt.”
Angela Rayner, the Labour MP for Ashton-Under-Lyne, attended the Daisy Nook Country Park scene with support service Oldham Street Angels.
She wrote on Twitter: “Dealing with the illegal rave at Daisy Nook liaising with the police. Mark was seen tonight who lost his partner a few weeks back. He wasn’t in a good way. We gave 33 meals and 6 sleeping bags for those who had no accommodation.”
Just finished my shift at Street Angels in Oldham. Dealing with the illegal rave at Daisy Nook liaising with the police. Mark was seen tonight who lost his partner a few weeks back. He wasn’t in a good way. We gave 33 meals and 6 sleeping bags for those who had no accommodation.— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) June 13, 2020
Angela Rayner is set to meet with police and council officials today. She has criticised the cuts to policing and claimed the Greater Manchester Police did not have enough officers to safely stop the events from taking place, saying: “The devastating cuts to the police by the Tory Government mean that our hardworking and dedicated local police forces simply don't have the resources to deal with spikes in incidents like we saw this weekend,”
A large team of volunteers helped clean up the Oldham site on Sunday with the help of the local council.
Oldham Councillor Sean Fielding thanks the “dozens of volunteers there this morning helping to clean up the mess left by the latter of these. Not any easy place to get to. Equally not going to be an easy, or cheap place to clear all the rubbish from. Thanks, guys.”
Dozens of volunteers there this morning helping to clean up the mess left by the latter of these. Not any easy place to get to. Equally not going to be an easy, or cheap place to clear all the rubbish from. Thanks, guys. https://t.co/tMtWihLETp— Sean Fielding (@cllrsfielding) June 14, 2020
Baroness Beverley Hughes, Greater Manchester's Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, condemned the “reckless individuals” who put “a needless demand on vital police time" and "themselves and their communities in real danger". She also praised the clean-up volunteers, saying: "We have seen the real Greater Manchester this morning."
Anyone with footage or information about the raves is encouraged to contact the police to help their investigation. Footage and information can be sent to: email@example.com.
Read the full police statement here.