Rave team assembled by council to break up illegal gatherings in Barking and Dagenham

Traffic wardens are being used by an east London council as the latest weapon in the battle against illegal raves.

Barking and Dagenham Council has redeployed parking control officers, litter enforcement patrols and noise abatement officers to its “crack team” assembled to break up illegal gatherings.

On Friday July 31, the team was tipped off about a rave of more than 260 people in Broad Street at 9pm.

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

Council officers, backed up by police, also gave out 25 parking fines to drivers blocking driveways.

Councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “I commend the officers and police for their prompt response to what was an illegal event and a totally irresponsible thing to do.

“Especially during the lockdown period when people are social distancing and we are doing the best to keep residents safe, we are determined that such events cannot and will not be allowed anywhere in our borough.”

The Met has shut down more than 540 unlicensed music events, some attended by huge crowds, since last month.

At the weekend two people were shot at an unlicensed music event in Hackney.

Gatherings of more than 30 people are still banned in England under the government’s lockdown measures.

Borough commander Stephen Clayman said: “We remain in a public health crisis and these unlicensed events are both illegal and dangerous.

“We have a role to keep our communities safe and we will continue to work closely with the council to ensure we respond to the concerns raised by local residents. Police officers and council staff often have to put themselves at risk and demonstrate professionalism, courage and dedication to disrupt these events and protection of the public is always at the heart of our approach.

“If you hear of an event taking place, please call 101 straight away and let us know – we will assess and deal with it.”

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Rachael Burford

Local Democracy Reporter