Police chief blasts 'outrageous' illegal rave during local lockdown

16 August 2020, 13:15

Greater Manchester Police have condemned the rave
Greater Manchester Police have condemned the rave. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

A Deputy Chief Constable has expressed disbelief at an illegal rave which saw police pelted with missiles as they tried to break up the event.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said officers were forced to call for significant back-up as they dealt with large gatherings for the second night running.

The disorder on Saturday night in the Gorton area of Manchester followed large gatherings in the Wilmslow Road area of the city on Friday.

GMP's Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling said objects were thrown at officers as they attempted to intervene to stop a party in Harlow Drive, Gorton.

DCC Pilling said: "Despite having significant number of GMP officers on duty, supported by officers from North Wales and Cheshire, we were extremely stretched again yesterday with unprecedented demand.

"The last thing we need is large gatherings such as this, as well as unacceptable attacks on officers attending the scene.

"Quite frankly, it is beyond comprehension and I am incredibly disappointed that people feel they can gather in this way - blatantly flouting the rules.

"I can honestly say that in 30 years of policing I have never seen anything quite as outrageous as this behaviour. It is appalling."

The senior officer added: "We are still in the midst of a global pandemic and over 40,000 people have lost their lives.

"Greater Manchester is specifically affected to the extent we have a local lockdown and many places still have a rising infection rate. People behaving in this way are contributing to an already difficult situation."

Officers are now reviewing footage of the Gorton incident and all options are being considered with regards to prosecution.

"GMP owes it to our communities to not tolerate this kind of behaviour," Mr Pilling said.

Friday's street gatherings on Pakistan Independence Day were condemned by Manchester Gorton MP Afzal Khan, who said he was disappointed, frustrated and angry at the "appalling" behaviour of those present.

The MP tweeted: "Not only is antisocial behaviour of this kind deeply disrespectful to Rusholme residents, ignoring the Covid-19 regulations puts us all at risk."