Extra police patrols in Sussex this weekend after raves in Steyning and Portslade

Sussex Police has warned that anyone who attends or organises unlicensed music events – known as raves – can expect to face robust action.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 5:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 5:40 pm

It comes after two high profile raves in Steyning and Portslade which prompted a significant policing response, potentially taking valuable resources away from genuine emergencies.

Superintendent James Collis said: “We will absolutely not tolerate these illegal and unlicensed events in Sussex, and as demonstrated by the recent events in Steyning and Portslade, we will shut them down, we will seize equipment and we will make arrests.

“Specialist patrols and intelligence checks will be carried out at potential hotspot areas across the county this weekend and beyond, and where we see illegal activity taking place, we will take action.”

Police were called to raves near Steyning and Portslade recently. Picture: Sussex Police

Supt Collis said illegal raves put lives at risk and are seriously antisocial.

There is no access to urgent medical attention, and if emergency services are required, the remote sites and large crowds can delay the team reaching anyone in need.

Supt Collins added that he was appalled by the number of people who were prepared to drive to or from the recent raves while over the limit for drink or drugs. Seventy-nine of the 90 arrests made during the event in Steyning were for drink or drug-driving.

“They made a conscious decision to risk the lives of themselves and others, and they will face the consequences,” continued Supt Collins.

“Thanks to the swift response of our officers to the scene and the surrounding areas, we were able to intercept a large number of suspected drink and drug-drivers, potentially preventing a number of serious or fatal road traffic collisions.”

He said the force was hugely grateful to anyone who has supplied any information or intelligence to them.

“Many illegal raves are prevented due to reports we receive from members of the public, and we urge people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us.

“In the meantime, we will continue to work with our partners and affected communities in our bid to combat this illegal and irresponsible activity.”

Supt Collins said signs for how to detect and prevent such events from happening include keeping an eye out for cut fences, pedestrians trespassing and clearly not equipped for a country walk – sometimes in large numbers – cars seemingly lost or left in yards or lanes and trying to access a remote location, or large numbers of cars and vans parking in locations not usually used.