Police shut down illegal rave attended by hundreds of people under M6 bridge

29 March 2021, 21:20 | Updated: 29 March 2021, 21:25

By Maddie Goodfellow

Police have handed out 22 fines after shutting down an illegal rave being held under a bridge on the M6.

The mass gathering took place beneath the busy M6 motorway in the West Midlands between Friday night and Saturday.

Police used a drone after they were called out to the huge illegal event which took place by junction 4.

Footage from the drone shows it finding a large heat source near Woodlands Cemetery by the River Cole.

The M6 was closed for a period as a precaution amid safety concerns that party-goers would try to escape across the carriageway.

One woman was helped from the river having gone into the water.

West Midlands Police said a total of 22 fixed penalty fines will be issued, including several people who are suspected of involvement in organising the illegal event.

Many other people ran from the location and enquiries to identify them continue, the force said.

One man was found with a suitcase carrying sound equipment, and a van believed to have been used in setting up the event was seized after getting stuck in the mud.

A police drone used heat technology to find the ravers
A police drone used heat technology to find the ravers. Picture: West Midlands Police

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Todd said: “This was an unauthorised event that would have been illegal outside of CoVID-19 legislation – but considering the public health context it’s an even more irresponsible act.

“I’d like to thank the officers who attended what was a very challenging scene, late at night, by a motorway and on the banks of a river, acting with public safety as their priority throughout.

“They made sure everyone was safe by closing the motorway for a short period and even helped one woman from the river. Thankfully no-one was hurt.

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“We will be issuing 22 people with fines and will be looking to identify other people who attended the illegal gathering.

“I understand people’s frustrations at having endured a long lockdown but amassing in large numbers like this for an unlicensed event in such a dangerous environment is not acceptable and we have to take action.”

While social contact rules have eased today, meaning people gather in groups of six, events like this are illegal – and we’ll continue to break them up and fine those involved.