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Dorset Police shuts down illegal rave after ordering attendees not to cross military firing ranges

Written by on 18 April 2022

An illegal rave in Dorset has finally come to an end – 21 hours after police ordered revellers to leave the site.

The crowd of more than 1,000 people descended on the area in the early hours of Sunday morning, with the event lasting throughout the day.

Dorset Police cordoned off roads and ordered people to leave using powers under the Public Order Act, but the last partygoers didn’t leave until around 9pm.

Revellers were warned not to cross military firing ranges in a bid to get to the rave, which was held close to the village of East Lulworth.

Officers attempted to get people to leave the area with the help of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, Dorset Council and the Ministry of Defence.

A post about the event on Dorset Police’s Facebook page received more than 1,000 comments on Easter Sunday – mostly telling the force not to ruin the party and comparing it to lockdown rule-breaking by politicians.

“Well, from what I’ve heard they were only there for less than 10 minutes, and it’s a business meeting,” commented one user.

“Boris can do what he wants, so they can too. Why not try and find some real criminal behaviour?”

Another said: “They’re just having a bit of cake for 10 minutes to polish off the cheese and wine!

“When the people that govern our country don’t even follow the rules how can you expect a few peaceful, happy, music-loving ravers to do so.”

Police investigating criminal offences

Deputy Chief Constable Sam de Reya said officers entered the site and ordered people to leave, but the process of dispersing the crowd “took some time”.

“In our operations, we always have to balance enforcement activities with the safety of our officers and all those involved,” she added.

“Making sure that a site is cleared without any escalation or moving the risk to our road network is always a difficult process.”

A police presence is set to remain in the area and the force has said it will be investigating any criminal offences with a view to prosecuting.

Officers have conducted vehicle checks on the site and the surrounding areas and gathered body-worn camera footage, drone footage and video from police helicopters.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact police on 101 quoting incident number 1729, or by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.