Police have warned would-be revellers not to cross military firing ranges in a bid to reach an illegal rave in Dorset.
More than 1,000 people are thought to have descended on a site close to the village of East Lulworth in the early hours of Sunday, Dorset Police said.
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.
Roads heading to the site have been blocked by police cordons, and Deputy Chief Constable Sam de Reya said some people are trying 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.
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.
#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
“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 also warned ravers they are at risk of sparking wildfires if they light campfires or barbeques in the area.
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.