More than 1,000 people are thought to have gone to an illegal Easter rave in Dorset, with police still trying to break up the gathering on Sunday.
Police warned would-be revellers not to cross military firing ranges in a big to reach the party, which was held close to the village of East Lulworth this morning.
Video footage shared on social media appeared to show hundreds of people in attendance at the event, with house music playing and coloured stage lights beaming across the sky.
Dorset police said they were called at 12:36am on 17 April to reports of a rave. “It is reported that about 1,000 people are attending the event,” they said.
“A large number of vehicles have also been reported travelling through the area.”
Looks like footage from the rave in East Lulworth has been shared on Snapchat. Looks huge. pic.twitter.com/Q197Qv3Qy2
— Mike (@JournoMikeT) April 17, 2022
One East Lulworth resident told local media on Sunday: “The village is full of people who have clearly been to the rave. There are cars all over the place, people passed out in laybys.
“I’ve probably seen a good 50-100 people walking through.
“My neighbour told me she caught four people in her back garden.”
Another resident said they had “been awake all night”.
“Cars parked everywhere, so much for a peaceful family Easter,” they added.
“It’s truly disgusting behaviour in our lovely village.”
The force said that by 1pm on Sunday they were still trying to get attendees to leave the area with the help of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, Dorset Council and the Ministry of Defence.
Katharine, who was staying with family nearby, told the Daily Echo at around 10am on Sunday morning: “I was woken up at four this morning and it’s still very very loud now.
“There’s a police helicopter circling and the army range road has been closed off.
“They have indicated to us that there are about 2,000 people on the site.
“It’s Easter Sunday - I want to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.”
Roads heading to the site have been blocked by police cordons, and Deputy Chief Constable Sam de Reya said some people had tried to get to the rave by crossing Army training land.
She said the illegal event had caused “distress and disruption” to local residents and also to livestock on surrounding farmland.
#LatestNews - An unauthorised gathering of people has been taking place in the East Lulworth area. The incident was first reported to police at 12.36am on 17/04/22. For further information please click on the following link https://t.co/VK0T2vCpa7 @DWFireRescue pic.twitter.com/uGpUZB47G1
— Dorset Police (@dorsetpolice) April 17, 2022
Ms de Reya said: “We are working closely together with partner agencies to assess all options to bring the incident to a safe conclusion and try to manage the considerable risks associated with a large-scale unauthorised gathering.
“It will come as no surprise that emergency services are already busy on a beautiful sunny Easter weekend and such irresponsible behaviour is adding to the demand.
“As there are Army training sites in the area, those attending the event are potentially putting themselves in danger by crossing these locations.”
Officers have entered the site and ordered all those present to leave using powers under the Public Order Act.
Ms de Reya said: “Due to the large scale of the event and impacts of dispersing such high numbers, this process can take some time.”
She added: “We will be investigating any criminal offences and ensure those found to be responsible are prosecuted.”
Officers are conducting vehicle checks on the site and the surrounding areas, gathering body-worn camera footage, drone footage and video from police helicopters, Ms de Reya said.
“Again, I would like to send a direct message to those at the event – you are trespassing, please leave and go home immediately,” she said.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact police on 101 quoting incident number 1729, or by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.