Council acts quickly to close Dagenham venue after illegal rave

An east London council has shut down a venue where an illegal rave attended by more than 260 people was held.

The huge gathering started at Dagenham Working Men’s club in Broad Street last Friday, July 31.

The owners have now been served with a direction notice – closing the club for 14 days.

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said it was the first time a UK local authority had used its power to immediately shut a venue for not following social distancing rules.

He added: “The council exercised its powers under the Health Protection Coronavirus, Restrictions Regulations 2020, and responded to a serious and imminent threat to public health, to prevent, protect against, controlling or providing a public health response to the incidence or spread of infection by coronavirus in the borough.”

The council has redeployed parking control officers, litter enforcement patrols and noise abatement officers to a team assembled to break up illegal gatherings.

On Friday night the team were tipped off about a rave of more than 260 people in Broad Street at 9pm.

They were there 30 minutes later and issued an enforcement abatement notice ordering the music to stop.

Council leader Darren Rodwell said: “We have supported businesses throughout the pandemic, and it is not too much to ask them to continue working with us to keep the borough safe.

“We cannot and will not tolerate businesses who put profit before people and will definitely use the laws available to us to unfortunately put them out of business.”

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Rachael Burford

Local Democracy Reporter