AN ILLEGAL rave under a bridge at Junction 4 of the M6 was shut down by West Midlands Police after a tip off from the public and the help of the force’s helicopter and drone team.
The major breach of coronavirus laws was dangerously close to a river as well as the motorway.
This raised fears if officers swarmed the event, the fleeing revellers may put themselves in danger in the water or with oncoming traffic,
The drone found 30 people in attendance and the police helicopter’s lights were used to break up the gathering.
The motorway was briefly shut to minimise the risk to people there and one woman was helped out of the river after falling in.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Todd said: “This was an unauthorised event that would have been illegal outside of Covid-19 legislation – but considering the public health context it’s an even more irresponsible act.”
He thanked the officers who attended what was a very challenging scene on Saturday night.
“They made sure everyone was safe by closing the motorway for a short period and even helped one woman from the river. Thankfully no-one was hurt.”
Fines have been handed to 22 people and the police are now looking to identify others involved.
ACC Todd added: “I understand people’s frustrations at having endured a long lockdown but amassing in large numbers like this for an unlicensed event in such a dangerous environment is not acceptable and we have to take action.”
Some of those gathered fled into the night and officers, positioned nearby, took the details of the 22 as the event broke up.
One man was found with a suitcase carrying sound equipment, and a van believed to have been used in setting up the event has been seized after getting stuck in the mud.
The man could now face a £10,000 if he’s found to have organised the event.
While social contact rules have eased today, meaning people gather in groups of six, events like this are illegal – and we’ll continue to break them up and fine those involved.