An illegal rave planned in a disused railway tunnel against lockdown rules has been foiled by police in south east London.
Officers and council staff discovered sound equipment, barriers, a temporary bar and a DJ table set up in Dulwich Wood, a registered bat roost, after snapping locks on the tunnel’s gates.
There was also a large black curtain obscuring the venue’s entrance so revellers would not be seen.
All equipment was seized and taken to a police station by Met officers from Lambeth and Southwark, working with Southwark Council’s Wildlife Department.
The plot was discovered on January 6. If traced, the organiser faces a £10,000 super-fine for Covid-19 rule-breaking.
Almost 45,000 fines have been issued to people across the UK for breaching laws barring leaving home without reasonable excuse.
National Police Chiefs’ Council chairman Martin Hewitt warned that officers will not “waste time” trying to reason with people who have “no regard” for the safety of others.
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Police Sergeant Jonathan Adams, who covers the Dulwich Safer Neighbourhoods Wards, said: “This old railway tunnel was known to us as a place where people were holding unlicensed music events, most likely spreading Covid and putting themselves and others at risk.
“Not only would they have angered local residents by hosting this illegal event, but the tunnel is a protective site for bats, proving these events don’t only disrupt humans, but also the local and unique wildlife that live there.”
Councillor Evelyn Akoto, Cabinet Member for public health and community safety, said: “I’m horrified that anyone would have such little regard for themselves or others, that they’d attend an illegal rave at the height of a pandemic.
“We continue to support the police in finding and shutting down locations where illegal raves might be held. Only by working together can we prevent such dangerous, thoughtless and illegal events from happening.”
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