How to prevent illegal gatherings and parties on rural land

gateway blog 81Organisations such as the CLA have ramped up campaigning efforts in recent years to encourage farmers and other owners of empty buildings to keep their premises secure. This is due in part to a resurgence in illegal gatherings for unlicensed musical events – often known as ‘raves’ or ‘free parties’.

“Illegal raves cause a great deal of disruption to local communities, with the resulting mess causing harm to both wildlife and the environment. These illegal gatherings can also create unnecessary problems for landowners, who could fall victim to considerable clean-up costs and expensive repairs to outbuildings,” explained CLA President, Henry Robinson.

Illegal raves often occur on private land that is dormant or poorly protected, meaning that the organisers of these events can hold their events unnoticed by land owners. Bringing their own sound systems, the events will often go on until the early hours of the morning at which point revellers will often leave behind all manner of mess and damage costing land owners thousands of pounds to clear up and repair.

An illegal rave in 2017 which took place in the Cambridgeshire countryside between the villages of Arrington and Longstowe caused terrible damage to the land that the party-goers occupied. The farmer in charge of the land complained that rubbish and glass had been strewn all over the site – a serious problem as glass could potentially damage his machinery, injure livestock and become lodged in hay bales meant for sale. While policers officers were called to respond to the event, it took many hours for the event to be brought to a safe conclusion and for everyone to leave.

Another event near Darlington caused a farmer to complain that an event attracting up to 500 attendees caused him over £70,000 worth of damages after an all-night party resulted in broken glass, gas canisters and cans littered across his field as well as contamination of the corn in his barn which meant it could no longer be sold.

Police officers and the CLA have both recommended that the best way to tackle illegal raves and free parties is early intervention. This means informing officers of any intelligence that a rave may be taking place illegally sometime in the future, as officers can find it much more difficult to shut down a rave once it has started.

The best way to prevent illegal gatherings is to cut off access to both the organisers and attendees. As many of the people going to the events will travel by car, it is critical that owners of farmland find a way to limit access to their land to authorised vehicles only, wherever possible.

Gateway Automation provide a range of products to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please call us on 01522 682255.

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