Police are involved in a game of ‘cat and mouse’ tonight as they try to thwart the organisers of illegal raves being planned in Greater Manchester.
There was a significant police presence in north Manchester in particular, backed up by council security officials, in a bid to prevent a repeat of last weekend’s illegal lockdown raves which ended in violence, a rape and one death from a suspected drugs overdose.
Roads have been closed around Collyhurst Road to try and prevent a rave taking place at Sand Hills park, an area of rough ground in the Irk Valley where it passes through Collyhurst.
Police have received intelligence that the park was to be the site of a rave although, tonight, messages which purport to be from the organisers suggest the the venue has been changed to another north Manchester park, the much bigger Boggart Hole Clough in Blackley.
Earlier on Saturday night police, including the Tactical Aid Unit, were in force at Angel Meadow Park just to the north of Manchester city centre where an estimated 150 people gathered for a suspected ‘pre-party’.
They were quickly moved on.
Harpurhey councillor Pat Karney, the town hall’s city centre spokesman, said he had seen messages circulating on Whatsapp which purport to be from the organisers which suggest the venue has now been changed to Boggart Hole Clough.
But these may be ‘disinformation in a game of cat and mouse’ to thwart the authorities, he said.
There was also a significant police presence in Boggart Hole Clough.
Coun Karney said: “The police are doing an extraordinary job. They have been all over Collyhurst and they’ve been to Boggart Hole Clough which are the two sites that have been mentioned. There’s no evidence of any rave taking place at Sand Hills park or at Boggart Hole Clough but the police and myself are staying until late in the evening.
“But at the moment it looks like police have done a terrific job. I hope that the organisers of these raves are tracked down and arrested and that the police bill is mentioned in court.
“These people should be paying the police bill for diverting the police in this way.”
Coun Karney went on: “All the nightclubs are closed and so the drugs trade is now looking for outdoor raves and looking to people to buy drugs. These are not innocent youth club events. These are very dangerous events for people besides Covid. We will track down the DJs. We are checking the people who hire out generators. We’re going to check who’s hired generators. We’ll get the details of the people organising these raves.”
Some 4,000 people attended one rave in a field near Daisy Nook Country Park, Failsworth, where a man, 20, died of a suspected drug overdose while up to 2,000 others went to another at a brownfield site in Carrington, Trafford, where three people were stabbed and woman was raped on Saturday night.
The Carrington event was described as ‘wild’ by senior police – video footage showed youths fighting with machetes.
Police stopped a third rave in Hattersley but believe it simply moved to Daisy Nook. Police sent officers including on horseback to snuff out the Daisy Nook event a few hours before it started following a tip-off but they could not find the organisers in the 100-acre park.
Get the latest updates from across Greater Manchester direct to your inbox with the free MEN newsletter
You can sign up very simply by following the instructions here
When they returned that night, officers decided to allow it to continue because they believed it would have been more dangerous to try and stop it as the numbers had swelled to 4,000.
A ‘dispersal order’ has been put in place around the site of last weekend’s Carrington rave – it means people will have to leave the site when directed by the police and could be arrested if they refuse.