Police disperse illegal raves in London parks after lockdown restrictions eased

6 July 2020, 06:43

People enjoy a drink in Soho last night
People enjoy a drink in Soho last night. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Police have shut down a series of illegal music events in London on the second night after coronavirus restrictions were lifted.

Police issued ‘dispersal orders’ on an area of north east London due to a series of raves.

Hackney police said: “A Section 35 Dispersal Order has been authorised for the entirety of MILLFIELDS PARK E5 by Inspector Norman due to an unlicensed music event. This dispersal is in place in order to prevent disorder.”

Social media videos from Millfields Park in Hackney filmed partygoers at a late night rave on Sunday night.

In similar scenes, hundreds of revellers gathered in Hackney Downs park.

The scene in Soho on Saturday night
The scene in Soho on Saturday night. Picture: PA

People also gathered in Soho in large numbers, although there were fewer people than on Saturday night.

On Saturday night, people in England crammed into pubs in their thousands, with huge crowds seen in Soho in London.

Police Federation Chair John Apter said he dealt with “naked men, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights and more angry drunks” while on duty in Southampton on Saturday.”

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“What was crystal clear is that drunk people can't/won't socially distance,” he said.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock hailed the easing of restrictions a 'success' and claimed the drinkers had 'very, very, largely acted responsibly'. 

Speaking to Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Hancock said: "Very very largely people have acted responsibly and this balanced message is so important. People should enjoy summer safely and of course the emphasis is both on enjoy and safely.

"Of course everybody knows that we are doing everything we can to get back to normal but only to do that when it's safe to do so.

"Overall I’m pleased with what happened yesterday. It was really good to see people out and about and largely, very largely, social distancing.

"My overriding message to people is yes enjoy the new freedoms but do so safely following social distancing. It is so important and even the basics like washing you hands."