James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Illegal rave of more than 1,000 partygoers in Dorset village takes a day to shut down
18 April 2022, 08:27 | Updated: 18 April 2022, 08:42
An illegal rave that drew more than 1,000 revellers took almost a day for police to disperse.
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Ravers arrived at the site near East Lulworth, a village in Dorset, just after midnight on Easter Sunday.
The party was well under way by 1pm, despite Dorset Police blocking off roads and having to tell people not to use nearby military land to get to the site.
It could reportedly be heard for about 11 miles away from the beauty spot.
One East Lulworth resident told the Daily Echo: "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."
South East Purbeck councillor Cherry Brooks said: "It's disrespectful, especially because it's happened on Easter Sunday.
"Many people within the area have family visiting - and a lot of people couldn't get any sleep. It woke me up around 4am."
'They have put themselves in a very awkward position.'
The last of the ravers were gone by 9pm after a response that also involved the Ministry of Defence, Dorset Council and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Deputy Chief Constable Sam de Reya said on Sunday evening: "Throughout the incident we worked in partnership with other public sector and military agencies to achieve the positive resolution.
"Police officers entered the site and directed people to leave the scene of the unlawful gathering using powers under the Public Order Act."
She added: "Due to the large scale of the event and the inherent impact of dispersing such a high number of people, this process took some time.
"In our operations we always have to balance enforcement activities with the safety of our officers and all those involved.
"Making sure that a site is cleared without any escalation or moving the risk to our road network is always a difficult process."
Facebook users on Dorset Police's page invoked the Partygate controversy over the police's approach to the rave.
One said: "Well, from what I've heard they were only there for less than 10 minutes, and it's a business meeting.
"Boris can do what he wants, so they can too. Why not try and find some real criminal behaviour?"
The force had said it would investigate any potential offences.
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting incident number 17:29, or by calling charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.