Decision to allow all-night rave defended

The scene at the industrial unit last Monday morning, all quiet and no sign of any mess left behind 'S51711H14
The scene at the industrial unit last Monday morning, all quiet and no sign of any mess left behind 'S51711H14

SUSSEX Police have explained why a noisy rave in Shoreham was allowed to continue through the night.

Residents put in calls complaining about the noise from an industrial unit at the Dolphin Enterprise Centre in the early hours last Sunday.

But it was nearly three hours before police were able to attend and even then, the rave was not stopped. The party finally broke up around 9am.

Manda Curry told the Herald the noise of the rave could be heard as far as Mile Oak.

She said: “Why, oh why, oh why was there a rave allowed in Shoreham? Is anyone aware how many hundreds of people were kept awake all night? Want to know where we are, and can hear it from? Mile Oak!”

Manda said the party was still going strong at 8am.

Speaking about the police response, she said: “They turned up at 5am and went away again. Then they turned up when it was still going but winding down at 9am.”

Other residents said the music equipment was already packed up and in a car by the time police made their second visit.

It was suggested around 100 people were involved, although there were only about 20 to 30 people there by the end.

The 19ft-high industrial unit, in Evershed Way, is one of a newly-constructed block of four which is currently vacant and available to let. The other three units have recently been let to Edgars Water for its new headquarters.

Chief Inspector Will Rolls said: “Members of the public made us aware of a rave in the early hours. Unfortunately it was an extremely busy Saturday night and we were called to a large number of emergency incidents between midnight and 5am.

“They included assaults, a report of an intruder, a distressed man reported to be running into the sea, domestic abuse incidents, an unconscious man in the street and a driver reported to be drinking at the wheel.

“Although we were informed of a possible rave at about 2.20am, owing to ongoing incidents we were unable to attend until 5am. Once there, officers assessed the scene, where there were about 60 people present, and relayed information back to supervisors.

“The officers then made an arrest at the scene for possession of a Class A drug and needed to leave the scene to process the prisoner. Another unit was asked to attend but they too were delayed because of other operational commitments.

“I understand how frustrating it must have been for nearby residents but I am certain they will understand that we had to prioritise our response to those who were at immediate risk of harm.

“We returned at 8am and people were packing away and the music had been turned down so was only audible in the immediate area of the unit.

“The decision not to seek to close the event was an operational judgment taken by supervising officers on duty. Every incident has to be assessed on the individual circumstances prevailing at the time and in this case the immediate availability of officers and the need to attend to more serious incidents were factors in the decision.

“We rely on community intelligence in relation to raves in order that we can prevent them from occurring before they become established. Anyone with information should contact police and we will do all we can to address it.”