Great Britain

LIVE: Andy Burnham and GMP press conference over illegal lockdown raves

Rave organisers being 'actively investigated'

Now onto questions from journalists.

The first is about the Daisy Nook rave. Did GMP approach the DJs? Do they know who the organisers were and are there plans to prosecute them?

ACC Bailey: there are active investigations into both raves.

Evidence has been gathered from both to help them identify the organisers.

He is not able to give the details of those organisers but they are ‘active investigations’.R

Rave crackdown: 'You will face action.'

Burnham summarises.

From this point on there will be a ‘stronger, more interventionist approach in future’, including more officers and more enforcement.

But this presents ‘real challenges’.

We really do need everybody’s help.

Parents have a job to do to make sure they know where their kids are and there’s ‘no excuse whatsoever’ to be dropping them off.

To those adults who attended, he says, ‘your attendance is completely irresponsible’.

You will face action.

And the organisers will face prosecution, he adds.

We could have done better last week in terms of the gathering of intelligence.

But that does also depend on the public providing that intel.

There will be a much stronger response this weekend. They can’t guarantee there’ll be none but they can guarantee a tougher response and ‘will not turn a blind eye’.

'The last thing we want is a summer of raves'

This has to stop now, she says.

The last thing we want is a summer of raves.

But she reiterates that the police need information from the public.

In Oldham, the organisers changed location at the last minute to stop the police shutting them down, she says.

Everyone needs to make sure their own family members do not attend.

Raves are 'a complete free for all for serious criminals'

Bev Hughes is now speaking.

The organisers of these raves are jeopardising all the work that has been put in to protect people during the lockdown, she says, adding that they left ‘disgusting mess’ behind them and putting strain on emergency services.

And they’re putting themselves and 999 workers at risk.

There’s no proper security.

They are a complete free for all for serious criminals.

GMP: We cannot guarantee the safety of partygoers

These events are not safe, he says. There aren’t usual safeguards you would get from a properly organised event.

If something does happen, we cannot guarantee your safety.

The terrain is often not safe and they cannot always close the events down if they are largescale.

They will seize equipment and vehicles ‘where we can’, as well as issuing penalty notices.

This is an illegal act and people are genuinely in danger where these take place.

Appeal for public information on planned raves

They need info from the community and from parents about these parties, he says.

Please, please, if you know about these events make sure you are telling the authorities, make sure you are telling GMP.

The next stage is prevent the events themselves.

There will be a dedicated operation this weekend to respond quickly to intel.

That will be supported by specialist officers and council teams.

We do believe that if we can do this and respond promptly we can target and take action against any criminal element that are there.

They can also take enforcement action where necessary.

GMP: Intel on Daisy Nook wasn't 'sharp'

He hands over to ACC Bailey.

ACC Bailey says GMP recognises the escalation of events last weekend had needed a more coordinated approach this week to make sure anyone trying to set up a rave is challenged and that any criminal elements are responded to ‘robustly’.

In order to do that, they’ve put together this plan.

It’s based on several elements.

The best success they can have is to stop the raves in the first place.

That will stop disturbances, mass gatherings in a pandemic and the kind of serious crimes we saw last week.

They need info, he says. The lack of info re Trafford immediately put them in response mode.

There was also a lack of ‘sharp’ intel where Daisy Nook was concerned.

They had had intel on other events in GM and they had managed to prevent them.

Daisy Nook: 'Things could have been done better'

At Daisy Nook, ‘things could have been done better’.

That included intelligence gathering and communication with councils.

GM is prepared to look at itself and what could be done better in future.

999 calls were already 50% up last Saturday

The raves were ‘really concerning’ and were linked to some ‘serious criminality’, including three stabbings, a suspected overdose and a rape.

He wanted a ‘multi agency action plan’ to learn from it, aimed at preventing and disrupting future events.

Last Saturday was an ‘extremely challenging day from a policing point of view’.

999 calls were up by 50% on previous Saturdays.

There were some serious incidents elsewhere in GM, as well as the need to police the protest and counter protest in Bolton town centre.

Then, they had to also deal with the raves.

Re the Trafford event, he says, ‘very little intelligence of a precise nature was made available in advance’.

So when GMP got there there was already a ‘large number of people on site’.

It was a difficult judgement but leaders have backed GMP’s decision not to break it up.

And we're off

Andy Burnham introduces the press conference.

He says this is a briefing on the illegal raves last weekend and what they plan to do going forward.

The briefing is just on that. (There’s a more general one about Covid tomorrow.)

He had asked the Chief Constable to report back to him and council leaders on the illegal raves and any intel on future ones.

Of course, they pose serious issues with regard to public order and public safety.

This isn’t unique to GM, he says, but they want to learn the lessons and prevent future ones.

Welcome

Hello and welcome to the first of two mayoral press conference in the next 24 hours.

Today’s focuses on concerns around the illegal raves that took place in Oldham and Trafford last weekend - and concerns that there could be more to come.

Here is my colleague John Scheerhout’s interview with ACC Chris Sykes from earlier this week, which provides some background to what happened on Saturday night and explains why police fear this could be the start of a trend.

The press conference will feature his fellow ACC Nick Bailey alongside the mayor and the deputy mayor.

This afternoon Greater Manchester Police and the mayor will hold a press conference about the illegal lockdown raves that drew thousands of partygoers on Saturday.

Amid concerns that the pattern could be repeated over the coming weekend, Andy Burnham, his deputy for policing Beverley Hughes and Nick Bailey, Assistant Chief Constable at GMP, will outline the measures they are taking to prevent more gatherings.

They will also urge the public and businesses for their support.

The press conference comes after 6,000 people gathered at two enormous illegal parties last weekend, at Daisy Nook in Oldham and Carrington in Trafford.

At the 4,000-strong Oldham party - dubbed a ‘quarantine rave’ on banners - a 20-year-old man died from a suspected drug overdose, while in Carrington three people were stabbed and a woman was raped.

Video footage of the Trafford event, which police described as ‘wild’, showed youths fighting with machetes.

GMP had already disrupted a rave planned for Hattersley on the same night.

While police were on site at both the parties that went ahead, neither was shut down, with Chief Constable Ian Hopkins later saying such large gatherings are ‘almost impossible to stop’ once they get going, particularly given the number of officers available.

Hundreds of people at an illegal rave at Daisy Nook Country Park

"It would have been a very serious situation and many people, including my officers, would have been badly injured I believe," he told the M.E.N. earlier this week.

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes said on Monday that GMP feared further similar events could take place in the coming weeks because bars and clubs remain shut.

"There is a demand but no supply, so we get this illegal supply," he said of the weekend’s raves.

GMP and the mayor’s office, which is responsible for policing, now want to deter people from holding or attending any more, with the weather expected to brighten up in the coming days.

Deputy mayor Bev Hughes has called Saturday’s gatherings a ‘flagrant breach of the coronavirus legislation’, calling those who attended ‘reckless’ and warning they had put their communities in danger from the virus spreading further.

Follow our live updates from 3pm.

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