With the first May Bank Holiday almost upon us, and as the warmer lighter evenings approach, all farmers and land owners are advised to remain vigilant to the possibility of unlicensed musical events (raves) being organised on their land. Hampshire Constabulary is asking members of the public to be alert to any possible rave-related activity.
This could include: the removal of locks from secured access points; vehicles, particularly panel vans or larger, driving off-road; groups of vehicles congregating in rural areas; convoys of vehicles; loud music from remote woodland.
It should be remembered that there is a process for the legitimate organisers of events to apply for a Public Entertainment Licence to hold musical parties both indoors and outdoors. The granting of this licence, through an application to the local council, follows consultation with the local Police and Fire Service. The licensing process ensures that the impact to the local community is taken into account with conditions being imposed if required. It also ensures the safety of those attending the event.
CLA regional director Robin Edwards said: "The CLA fully supports Hampshire Constabulary in its efforts to highlight the issue of illegal raves. We urge farmers and landowners to help the police by reporting any suspicious activity as early intervention and good local intelligence can prevent these illegal events and organisers can be dealt with appropriately. Raves cause a great deal of disruption to local communities and often result in damage being caused to property and land. Hampshire Constabulary's proactive approach to reducing raves is very welcome as landowners can fall victim, bearing the considerable clean-up costs incurred.
"If you spot anyone suspicious who may be conducting early reconnaissance on rural land or even starting to set up an event then please report any such activity on the Hampshire Constabulary non-emergency number of 101 as soon as possible, quoting 'Operation Enigma'."
By receiving early warnings, Hampshire Constabulary has a much better chance of disrupting the rave and dispersing those responsible for its organisation.