A film maker who documented on video the clashes between ravers and police at an illegal rave in Lincolnshire this weekend has condemned aggression from revellers and heavy-handed policing of the event.
Chris Shaw, 23, from Essex, attended the illegal rave at Twyford Woods on May 23/24 off the A1 at Colsterworth in Lincolnshire.
He filmed the clashes between revellers and police in a video published earlier today on The Lincolnite.
As previously reported, some 43 people have been arrested, and 21 officers and a police dog were injured by bottles and objects thrown at them from the crowd.
‘Nothing short of shocking and disgusting’
Recalling the illegal rave, Chris Shaw said: “I’ve been going to these sorts of events, legal and non-legal, since I was 16 and have never witnessed the madness I saw that night.
“Ravers throwing glass bottles and stones and police swinging bats left, right and center. People were overly aggressive to members of the police and officers were attacking non-violent partygoers.
“I completely understand the need for the police to control these raves as there is a safety concern but heavy handed policing has never been the way to go about it.
“It makes situations far less safe. Even when I was helping an injured person we got charged by police, even though we were clearly not a threat.
“What I saw from a small number of revellers was nothing short of shocking, disgusting and makes me ashamed to be associated with them.
“There is a problem in this country where, in this age of cuts, we are ever being neglectful to the youth who build the social fabric; but hurling missiles at the police is not the right way of going about it.
“With the closing of clubs and more restrictions on licensing for events like these, more and more youths will come to these sorts of nights, and with that police tactics will get heavier handed as they try to stop them. It will be a vicious cycle for a while unfortunately.”
He added: “The rhetoric on both sides is displeasing. Ravers talk about one love and unity and the police talk about protection and justice. I very rarely find that to be the case from both of them.”
Illegal rave ‘was a disgrace’ say police
In a statement earlier on Tuesday, Lincolnshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Heather Roach said the illegal rave “was a disgrace.”
She said: “Illegal parties sometimes known as raves are just that, illegal. One of the core responsibilities and aims of the police is to make sure that people are safe. Gatherings such as this are not safe. There are no safety assessments or plans. Equipment to tackle fires or medical emergencies are generally non-existent.
“Crowd control measures such as barriers to prevent people being crushed or suffocated are not present and access to the sites for the emergency services such as the Ambulance Service or the Fire and Rescue Service are inadequate.
“The difference between this type of gathering and a legitimate party or rave can be demonstrated by comparing it to a music event taking place in Lincolnshire over the weekend involving around 5000 people which passed off without any major problems. I would encourage people to attend events like this where they will be much safer.
“Given that proceedings are now active with suspects charged with a variety of offences I can’t comment on the fine detail of what happened but it is fair to say that my officers encountered a very violent situation.
“In order to provide policing cover at various other events throughout Lincolnshire over the Bank holiday weekend we had additional resources available courtesy of our colleagues in other East Midlands forces.
“In spite of this we still had to call in additional officers from other parts of the country. At one point some three hundred officers were involved.
“The full cost of the operation cannot be counted until the ongoing investigation has been concluded and the offenders have been brought to justice. However it will run into thousands of pounds.
“Our investigation will continue and it will be thorough and far reaching,” Deputy Chief Constable Heather Roach added.