Over the Bank Holiday weekend in the woods of Carmarthenshire, Wales a group of ravers managed to keep an illegal rave going for two days, despite a police presence and outrage from the local community.
Now nearly a week after the illegal party, local police have defended their decision to allow the rave to continue, prioritizing the safety of partygoers and containment of the event. According to Wales Online, Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Constable Mark Collins spoke about the decision after attending a public meeting in Brechfa Community Hall:
"Police officers are highly trained to safely deal with these types of challenges, and on this occasion the most appropriate action was prioritising containment of the event to reduce the amount of revellers arriving in the area. We are working with partners to improve the intelligence picture about these dynamic events, so resources can be deployed as effectively as possible.
"Following this event we are now reviewing the force’s response to illegal raves, to minimise their impact on local residents. I’m thankful to the Brechfa community for a constructive meeting, which gave me the opportunity to explain the police response to the bank holiday weekend’s illegal rave.”
Reports from the scene state that the rave took place in a forest where partygoers began to arrive on Saturday, May 26, and didn't leave until Monday while some even managed to stay through to Tuesday, May 29.
Police showed up on scene during the morning of Sunday and stayed until Monday afternoon. Instead of breaking up the rave, they decided to instead block access to the site, a tactic that is commonly used by police who are dealing with large scale illegal raves, whether that's with 3,000 ravers or 200 ravers.
That being said, the police's decision to restrict access rather than bust up the rave came with polarizing opinions from the public.
One local resident was outraged that police couldn't prevent the rave from taking place: “What are we paying our rates for when an event like this affects a whole community and the police do nothing? Why did it take them until midday on Sunday to put information on social media? Why aren’t they monitoring these sites so they can step in before anything happens?”
However, another local resident defended the police's decision, stating that there was very little that could be done once the party was going: “The road was blocked... It was nose to nose all the way up to the site, the police really couldn’t get in and what more could they do apart from be at the entrance to the road here?”
For more like this, check out 20 illegal rave photos from over the years.
Harrison is Mixmag's East Coast Editor. Follow him on Twitter here