Somerset

Vallis Vale illegal rave shut down by police

Road closure near Frome, Somerset
Image caption Several hundred revellers descended on Vallis Vale on the outskirts of Frome from the all-night illegal rave

An all-night illegal rave attended by hundreds of people in Somerset has been shut down by police.

Officers were called to Vallis Vale on the outskirts of Frome, where the unlicensed music event was under way.

Avon and Somerset Police said it had started to receive complaints at about 01:30 BST but decided to let the event continue.

It took a further eight hours before officers "managed to turn the music off" and got people to disperse.

Ch Supt Ian Smith defended the force's decision of just "containing those that were already there in the area" rather than shutting the event down.

Apology to residents

"If we are aware in advance about a potential event, the law allows us to take action to close it down," he said.

"However, if it has already started... an assessment has to be made.

"There were a large number of people in attendance and we needed to have the right number of resources in place to make sure they could leave without putting themselves or others at risk."

Image caption Police managed to turn the music off at 9:30 BST and began dispersing those taking part in the rave
Image caption People were prevented from accessing the site by officers while those at the rave were "contained"

He apologised to local residents for the disruption but added a full investigation would be carried out to "establish the full circumstances and to ensure all criminal offences are pursued".

Residents wrote on the force's Facebook page appealing for the event to be stopped.

Teresa Bray posted: "PLEASE can someone do something about the all night rave going on in nr frome?

"I called it in at 2am and it's louder than ever atm. We've had NO SLEEP!!! Tried calling 101 but can't get through."

'Let youth live'

James P Parsons added: "Where are the local police to stop these illegal activities which are not only annoying and frustrating, but, causing loss of sleep could be life threatening!!"

Kate Charlton wrote: "I live in great elm and am staggered this is still going on. We've been awake since 1.30. I understand the lack of staff but as it's Sunday morning now there should be plenty of staff in now to shut this down."

Meanwhile Michelle Hinks, posted that she was not far from event and "heard nothing".

"I hear more from Glastonbury festival and that's miles away," she said. "As long as they are being well behaved I can't see a massive problem."

Lauren Davies wrote: "They only happen now and again, not every week. Let the youth live! We live in a sad depressing world, everyone deserves to let their hair Down now n again."

Image copyright BBC/VizMaps
Image caption The illegal rave was held in a clearing in woodland on the outskirts of Frome

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