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Police to combat illegal raves over Easter weekend

PUBLISHED: 09:10 16 April 2014 | UPDATED: 09:10 16 April 2014

Archant

Operation Derig will see extra officers patrolling ‘at risk’ areas across North Devon and Torridge.

POLICE across North Devon are preparing to disrupt any illegal rave activity this coming Easter weekend.

Operation Derig, which begins today (Tues) will see dedicated officers patrolling potential areas at risk to illegal gatherings.

The intelligence-led operation has built on a successful series of similar operations throughout last year.

Insp Steve Bradford said: “Safety regulations used at all public events were introduced to ensure safety of those attending, yet illegal raves do not follow any guidance.

“These types of unregulated events are not only dangerous to those attending but cause disruption to people who live nearby.

“We have seen incidents where people have got lost in poor weather in very remote areas and come to harm, as well as people attending suffering medical episodes and in need of medical attention – yet due to terrain and the poor management of the rave site it is extremely difficult for police and other emergency services to respond.”

Devon and Cornwall Police will be working with partner agencies including National Park, the Forestry Commission, Environmental Health and South West Lakes Trust to share information and prevent reoccurrence.

Insp Bradford added: “We will take positive action regarding criminal activity and identify and target organisers.

“We can seize any equipment associated with the activity and take positive action against those suspected of offences such as drink-driving and drug possession.

“We also appeal to members of the public to keep us informed to help disrupt any illegal raves as early intervention is key; accurate and timely information can allow us to close down an event before it has even started.”

Anyone who spots what they think is an illegal rave is asked to call police on non-emergency number 101.

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